Parker County Today November 2017 - Page 39

To Bachelorettes Everywhere – Have You Considered the HPV Vaccine? “There is nothing more important to me as a physician than your cancer treatment. I’ve been in practice for nearly two decades and have had the privilege of telling many patients that there is life beyond cancer. As president of The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, I want to lead by example, practicing a firm belief that all patients should receive the finest medical care available, with the same concern and compassion as a cherished member of the family.” Ray Page, D.O., Ph.D. President and Medical Oncologist The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active people get it at some point in their lives. There are over 100 different types of HPV. In most people, HPV is harmless and has no symptoms, but in some people certain types of virus may persist and lead to genital warts and cancers. In Texas 9 out of every 100,000 women will get cervical cancer and an estimated 369 women will die this year from cervical cancer. In Tex- as, Blacks have the highest cervical cancer mortality rate, followed by Hispanics, and non-Hispanic Whites. Women in Texas-Mexico border counties have a 31 percent higher cervical cancer mortality rate than women in non-border counties. But there are vaccines, such as Gardasil, that can stop these health problems from happening! The HPV vaccine is recommended for young women through age 26, and young men through age 21. All kids, both sexes, who are 11 or 12 years old should get two shots of HPV vaccine six to twelve months apart. Adolescents who receive their two shots less than five months apart will require a third dose of HPV vaccine. If you are older than 14 years, three shots over 6 months is recommended. Currently, it appears that the vaccines protect against HPV for at least 6 years. Studies suggest that the vaccines are effective at providing long-lasting protection. Additional studies need to be done to see how long vaccinated people remain immune and whether booster shots are needed. As of 2013, only 38 percent of U.S. girls and 14 percent of boys aged 13 to 17 had received the recommended three doses of the HPV vaccine, according to a CDC survey. Even if you have already been infect- ed with the type of HPV that causes genital warts, you can still protect yourself against the types that can cause cancer since you may not be infected with those types yet. If you get vaccinated now, it won’t protect your partner, though. But your partner can be vaccinated too. Like any vaccine or medicine, HPV vaccines can cause side effects. The most common side effects are pain, redness, or swelling in the arm where the shot was given; dizziness, fainting, nausea, and headache. During June 2006–March 2014, after 67 million doses of the HPV vaccine, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) received a total of 25,176 adverse event reports after HPV vaccination in the United States. Among these, 92.4% of the HPV4 reports were classified as nonserious. Schedule appointments by calling 817-596-0637 or online at Support services provided by: To learn more about cancer care issues or to consult with a physician about a cancer diagnosis, contact us at 817.596.0637. Bachelorettes (and bachelors) talk with your physician on whether the HPV vaccine is right for you. Lastly, the impact of HPV goes beyond just women and cervical cancer. HPV- associated Head and Neck cancer, particularly in young men in their 40-50’s has become an epidemic!!!! 1 in 9 men have an oral HPV infection. Unlike the Pap smear for cervical cancer, there is currently not an early detection screening test for HPV-associated head and neck cancers. However, researchers are investigating tools such as oral rinses and fluorescent-based cameras to identify early lesions. 37