Gardasil® or HPV vaccine has been gracing front lines for some time now. Over the years I have been asked numerous times about the risk and benefits of this vaccine for male and female adolescents. In this post, I would like to provide the most current information to allow adolescents and their parents to make an educated decision.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine was developed to protect our growing preteen and teen population from most of the cancers caused by HPV infection. HPV is a common virus that affects thousands of men and women yearly. Most of the time, the body naturally fights off HPV before it causes any problems.
In cases when the body is unable to fight off the virus, HPV causes a number of health problems, like cancers and genital warts. HPV is central to the development of cervical neoplasia (precancerous) and can be detected in 99.7% of cervical cancer. Women with cervical cancer are usually asymptomatic in early stages, with symptoms usually presenting themselves when cancer has metastasized. PAP smear is a universal screening that is used to screen women for cervical cancer. For that reason alone, all women 18 years and older should have annual gynecological exam. Continue reading “HPV Vaccines”