Every year in the United States, 31,000 women and men are diagnosed with a cancer caused by HPV infection. Most of these cancers could be prevented by HPV vaccination.
HPV vaccination prevents more than just cervical cancer. Vaccination can prevent uncomfortable testing and treatment even for cervical precancers. Each year in the U.S. more than 300,000 women endure invasive testing and treatment for lesions (changes in the cells) on the cervix that can develop into cancers. Testing and treatment for these “precancers” can have lasting effects.
However cervical cancer only accounts for 1 in 3 cancers caused by HPV infection. While there is screening for cervical cancer, there is no routine screening for the other 20,000 cancers caused by HPV infections each year in the United States. Often these cancers—such as cancers of the back of the throat (oropharynx) and cancers of the anus/rectum—aren’t detected until later stages when they are difficult to treat.
School will be out soon, and many families will be getting ready for summer vacations, camps, and other fun activities. Before you start your summer, make an appointment for your preteen’s vaccinations. Vaccines help your kids stay healthy, and many states require certain vaccinations before school starts in the fall. While your kids should get a flu vaccine every year, there are three other vaccines for preteens that should be given when kids are 11- 12 years old. Talk to your child’s doctor about Meningococcal, HPV, and Tdap vaccines or visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines/teen today.