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HPV Vaccines: Saving Lives

If you’ve been watching the news lately, you have probably heard of the HPV vaccine but you may be wondering what it is and why it's getting so much attention? 

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common virus that can infect both adults and teenagers. In fact, each year about 14 million people in the US will get it. Out of these people, HPV will cause approximately 32,500 cases of cancer in men and women. Many people think only sexual activity spreads HPV, however this is not always true. It can also be given to someone during skin-to-skin contact. Sometimes HPV shows up as warts, but most often, people never know they have it. This can be a problem because they may pass it to someone else without knowing it.

While most HPV infections are not harmful, there are some that may cause cancer. This can include cancer of the cervix in women or cancer in the back of your throat, base of your tongue or tonsils for men. Luckily, we have the HPV vaccine. This vaccine may help to prevent someone from getting the virus. The shot is recommended for children between the ages of 11 to 12. Teens and young adults who did not get the vaccine are still able to be vaccinated through the ages of 9 to 26 years old. Talk to your doctor or nurse if you want to learn more about this.

The most important thing to remember is the HPV vaccine is safe and effective. It is a form of cancer prevention. It can protect children and young adults from getting certain cancers. In addition to vaccines, there are other steps we can take to prevent cancer. Women aged 21 to 65 years old should be routinely screened for cervical cancer. Men should make sure they get a regular oral screening with each dental checkup. Taking these steps can help to save our own lives and the lives of the people we love.

To find out more information about the HPV vaccine visit: MedlinePlus.Gov & Cancer.Net

Interested in learning more about cancer prevention? Check with your local healthcare provider or the Raab Cancer Center at Carteret Health Care. You can also attend “Cancer Conversations,” a monthly educational webinar series that Carteret Health Care hosts in partnership with UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. The program is free and open to the general public. This is just another way that Carteret Health Care and UNC Lineberger are working together to ensure you have quality cancer care delivered in in your own community.

The topic for our next Cancer Conversations is….HPV Vaccines: Saving Lives

Date: August 24th, 2018

Time: 12 -1 pm

Location: Carteret Health Care’s Cancer Center in Meeting Room 1

Register: Call (252) 499-6200