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Preventing HPV

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HPV – Human Papilloma Virus – causes trouble above and below the belt.

Nearly all sexually active women and men will be infected at some point. 90% of those infections will go away, destroyed by the body’s defenses.

But when the virus persists, cancer’s a concern.

HPV causes genital warts and cancers, including anal and cervical. But its effects
are also evident in the mouth and throat, including the oropharynx, with the back of the throat, the base of the tongue, and tonsils endangered.

Michael Douglas’s case has drawn needed attention to this risk.

Nearly 8500 people a year suffer HPV-related oral cancers. That number includes 3 times more men than women.

HPV can be passed by oral sex and open-mouthed kissing. Condoms and oral dams may offer a measure of protection.

An HPV vaccine is available to prevent cervical and other genital cancers. It’s most effective when given before exposure to the virus. 3 vaccine doses over 6 months are recommended for all adolescent girls and boys.

The same virus strains in the vaccinations can cause oral cancers. More study’s needed to say for sure the vaccine will prevent them.

Make sure your offspring get 3 doses of the vaccine. Their future health and happiness can depend on them.