LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio - A welcomed surprise for members of the medical community after research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed a significant drop in cases of HPV in teen girls.
"And that is with only a fraction of the population getting vaccinated. Imagine what the results would be if everybody in the U.S. would get vaccinated against this," said Dr. Harriet Lemberger-Schor with Churchill Family Medicine in Liberty.
The HPV vaccine has been on the market since 2006. The CDC analyzed data dating back to 2003 and compared rates of HPV infections before and after vaccinations began. They found cases dropped 56% between 2003 and 2010.
"Not only is it an infection, but it is an infection in certain strains has been implicated in causing cancer particularly cervical cancer," said Dr. Lemberger-Schor.
About 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States. The CDC estimates the HPV vaccine would prevent 45,000 diagnoses and another 12,000 deaths among girls now age 13 and younger throughout their lifetime.
"Cancer is the scary entity out there and if you have the opportunity to protect your child against a form of cancer, early on, that is really what I pretty much hang my hat on with respect to recommendations," said Dr. Lemberger-Schor.
A series of three shots is recommended over six months for both boys and girls beginning at age 11 or 12. Dr. Lemberger-Schor says it is also recommended for adults up to age 26, who were not vaccinated when they were younger.
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