Help your kids prevent cancer
The chance that someone will be exposed to human papillomavirus (HPV) in his or her lifetime is 80%. In most people the immune system clears the virus before it’s detected. But some cases do lead to cancer and other diseases.
The HPV vaccine can guard against specific strains of the virus and help prevent cancer. Those cancers include cervical, anal, oropharyngeal or throat, vaginal, vulvar and penile. Some of these types of cancer are almost exclusively caused by HPV.
“We have a great opportunity to remove certain types of cancer from our world,” says Lois Ramondetta, M.D., professor in Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine.
MD Anderson recommends that boys and girls get the HPV vaccine between age 11 or 12. This is when their immune system will respond best to the vaccine. The HPV vaccine can be given as early as age 9 and up to age 45.
“It’s to protect them later on in life,” Ramondetta says.
The vaccine is administered in a series of two shots over six months. Both shots are required for the vaccine to be effective. After age 15 and up to age 45, three shots are required for the vaccine to be effective. So when you call to make an appointment for your child to get the vaccine, go ahead and make appointments for both shots.
We have a great opportunity to remove certain types of cancer from our world.