There is only one, yes ONE, vaccine available that prevents cancer. The HPV vaccine. A little over 10 years old, the HPV vaccine was developed to prevent infections from the human papilloma virus—the most common sexually transmitted infection in the US (and the world). Though most women clear HPV infection rapidly, in some women the virus can lay dormant for years in cervical cells and in still others it can cause cellular changes that lead to invasive cervical cancer. Nearly all cervical cancer and some uterine cancer is caused by HPV.
The HPV vaccine is recommended for all children (yes, girls AND boys) ages 11-12 (9-26 is the wider window for vaccination). CDC data released last month show that roughly 50% of American teens have completed the recommended doses of the HPV vaccine. Though this is an improvement over last year, there is still a long way to go.
Fortunately, every year the prevalence of cervical cancer decreases, however other HPV cancers (oral, anal) are slowly increasing as sexual behavior in the US slowly changes. The HPV vaccine is effective against the most common strains to cause the wide variety of HPV related cancers.
If your child isn’t up to date with their HPV vaccine, talk with their pediatrician about getting up to date. If you’re too old for a pediatrician but under the age of 26, ask your primary care physician or gynecologist.
El Camino Women’s Medical Group offers the latest Minimally Invasive Solutions for gynecologic problems. Drs. Amy Teng, Erika Balassiano, and Pooja Gupta, all members of AAGL (American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopy) are highly trained and experienced in the field of Minimally Invasive Gynecgologic Surgery. Dr. Erika Balassiano is also a graduate of the Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Fellowship at Stanford University, under the supervision of world-renowned Dr. Camran Nezhat.
Serving Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Atherton, Palo Alto, Redwood City, Burlingame, Saratoga, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, Campbell, San Jose, Santa Clara, Silicon Valley, Milpitas, Fremont, South Bay, East Bay and North Bay.