Only 15 percent of women survive advanced stages of cervical cancer.
Every year, about 12,500 women in the United States contract the disease, of which about one-fourth will die.
The number could be reduced to almost zero.
The HPV vaccine has a 97 percent success rate of preventing females from contracting the cancer. The vaccine fights the human papillomavirus, or HPV, a virus that is transmitted sexually, and is the main cause of cervical cancer. It is most effective when administered to young girls, before they become sexually active.
Annual Pap smears help detect cervical cancer. Combined with these annual exams, the HPV vaccine makes cervical cancer all but preventable.
SO WHAT’S not to like?
Not sure, but for some reason less than 50 percent of U.S. parents are seeing that their pre-teen daughters are getting the vaccinations. It’s suspected some see it as permission for their youngsters to be sexually active, rather than as a life-saving measure.
BOYS AND GIRLS beginning at age 11 or 12 should get the vaccine, which is a series of three shots over six months.
The reason boys are now included is that males also can get cancers and genital warts from HPV, the most common of all sexually transmitted diseases. Vaccinating boys also helps prevent the spread of HPV to future partners.
The young age is recommended because preteens have a better immune response from the vaccine than older teens.