HPV Vaccinations Could Prevent 29,000 Cases of Cancer Each Year

"HPV Vaccine — Just the Facts" by Jennifer Bennett, RN, BSN of WhidbeyHealth Cancer Care.

Did you know?

YOU can be key to preventing human papillomavirus (HPV) cancers in your adolescent.

HPV is a common virus that infects both males and females. HPV can cause certain types of cancers, including cancer of the cervix, vagina and vulva in females, cancer of the penis in males, and cancer of the anus and throat in both sexes. Every year 29,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with cancer caused by HPV.

The HPV vaccine is important because it helps PREVENT these cancers. The vaccine works best at protecting girls and boys from future cancers when it is given at the ages of 11 or 12 years.

When children are due for their Tdap and meningococcal vaccines, why not include a vaccine for cancer? When they get it at age 11 or 12 they only need two doses. If they start the vaccine at age 15 or older, they will need three doses. 

UPDATE 2019: For years, the HPV vaccine has been recommended for children as young as nine, all the way up to adults age 26.  Now the FDA has approved the vaccine for people ages 26-45.


Have more questions? 

Ask your child’s primary care provider or check out the following websites for a wealth of information on vaccinations and make an informed decision about your child’s health:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Vaccines for Your Children: Protect Your Child at Every Age

American Cancer Society: HPV and Cancer

The Community and Family Health Department of Island County administers vaccines by appointment at its Oak Harbor Location.  To schedule an appointment call 360-678-828. Click here for more information about Island County Health's vaccination program. 

Providers at WhidbeyHealth Primary Care clinics also administer vaccinations. Here are our locations to schedule an appointment:

Oak Harbor, Cabot Drive
Oak Harbor, Goldie Street


Six Reasons to Get the HPV Vaccine for Your Child

  1. HPV is a common virus that infects men and women. 80 percent of Americans will get an HPV infection in their lifetime.
    Most HPV infections will go away on their own – BUT - infections that don’t go away can cause pre-cancers and cancers.

  2. HPV vaccination works. Infections with HPV types that cause most HPV cancers and genital warts have dropped by 71 percent among teen girls.

  3. HPV vaccination prevents cancer. More than 29,000 cases of cancers each year could be prevented with HPV vaccination.
    Same as the average attendance for a baseball game.

  4. Preventing cancer is better than treating cancer. HPV infections can cause many types of cancer, but there is only screening available for cervical cancer. HPV vaccination is prevention for the other types of cancer caused by HPV infections.

  5. Your child can get the HPV vaccine when they receive their other preteen vaccines. Three vaccines are recommended for 11 to 12-year-olds to protect against the infections that can cause meningitis, HPV cancers and whooping cough.

  6. Preventing cancer is easier than ever before. Data now shows two doses of HPV vaccine provide similar protection to three doses, when given before the 15th birthday.

Six out of 10 parents are choosing to get the HPV vaccine for their children. Let’s increase that to 9 out of 10! Talk to your child’s doctor about HPV cancer prevention at ages 11-12.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention