Baptist Health Paducah: Preventing HPV
Doctors Amber Savells, MD, and Obiageli Ezewuiro, MD, urge parents to consider the HPV vaccine for their teens, a proven way to prevent certain cancers.
Preventing HPV Health Talks Transcript
Amber Savells, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology
HPV is the human papillomavirus. Currently, there are 80 million Americans that are infected with HPV. About 30 million Americans are newly infected every year.
Obiageli Ezewuiro, MD, Hematology & Oncology
Human papillomaviral infection can cause cancer such as cervical cancer, head and neck cancer, and rectal cancer, and sometimes these cancers are not detected until they are advanced and difficult to treat.
The human papillomavirus is spread only through sexual contact and has to be direct skin-to-skin contact with some type of sexual activity. It can be prevented by using safe sex techniques that include condom use and then careful selection of partners. The HPV vaccine is meant to protect patients against the most high-risk types of HPV, and the vaccination has been engineered to protect against the ones most likely to cause cancer. Boys and girls should both get vaccinated. Children can be vaccinated, boys or girls, starting at the age of 9. I always try to remind parents that we’re talking about cancer — this is one of the only vaccines that’s ever been proven to actually decrease the incidence of cancer in the future, and so this is an important event that we could be preventing — and remind them that this is about their child’s future health.
The HPV vaccine today can save your life in the future.