Parker County Today PCT June 2018 - Page 39

OK High School Grads and Bachelors, Read this – Have You had your HPV Vaccine? “There is nothing more important to me as a physician than your cancer treatment. I’ve been in practice for over 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 Last year I wrote in this column a note to bachelorettes about the impor- tance of the HPV vaccine in women. The guys are saying, “Not my problem”. Oh no, wait a minute, am I now going to tell you that the HPV vaccine prevents cancer in guys also? Yep, you got it! Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmit- ted infection (STI). It is an equal opportunity infector and 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. We already have been told over and over that the HPV vaccine can help prevent cervical cancer in women. Recent studies just confirmed there is a significant decrease in precancerous cervical changes in vaccinated women. But what about the guys? We don’t have a cervix. Well, no, but we have a penis and an a-hole. So, I think we can agree that guys generally don’t desire to have genital warts or things growing out of their bumholes. Even worse, do I have to explain to you what happens when one of those penile warts transforms into a cancer? Well, it involves a scalpel! Furthermore, HPV- associated Head and Neck cancer, particularly in young men in their 40-50’s has become an epidemic!!!! This is not a good thing, men! You can otherwise be completely healthy and living life when you can develop a mass around the base of the tongue. In order to eradicate this cancer it involves a combination of surgical intervention, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Not a desirable way to spend your mid-life when you should be driving a sports car or Harley instead. These head and neck cancers, which can occur in both men and women, can be prevented with a HPV vaccine. The caveat – it must be given in your youth. It is by far most effective before sexual exposure to the virus (which again, most everyone carries at some point). 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 rec- ommended. 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. 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. Bachelors and high school grads talk with your physician on whether the HPV vaccine is right for you. Even if you have already been infected 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 vac- cinated now, it won’t protect your partner, though. But your partner can be vaccinated too. 37