Help protect your kids from HPV cancers
A strong tool in cancer prevention, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine protects both females and males against HPV infections that cause 70% cervical cancers, as well as a large proportion of anal, penile, vaginal and vulvar, mouth and throat cancers. Three of every four Canadians will be infected with HPV at some point in their lifetime.
The Canadian Cancer Society recommends that all females age 9 to 45 and males age 9 to 26 be vaccinated against HPV to help reduce their risk of HPV-associated cancers. Extensive research has shown us the HPV vaccines are safe and most of the side effects that occur are not serious and are very similar to reactions from other routine vaccines.
Meet Tiffany Bond. A mother and cancer survivor whose type of throat cancer is related to HPV and may have been prevented by the vaccine. Tiffany was diagnosed at the age of 39.
"I wish the vaccine had been available when I was younger," says Bond. "Having gone through what I went through, I cannot understand why parents would choose not to have their children vaccinated against HPV."
We urge British Columbia parents of girls and boys in grade 6 to have their child vaccinated for free this fall through their school-based vaccination program. Talk to your healthcare provider to discuss if the vaccine is right for your child.
Resources have been developed for individuals and organizations to use and share.
Great progress has been made
Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.