With more awareness and understanding about HPV, it has become clear that HPV vaccines not only help to fight against cervical cancer but also other cancers which affect men equally
HPV is a combination of more than 200 viruses which may affect a person and spread through sexual contact. This means that a man infected with a virus can pass it to another male or female sexual partner. Vaccines like Gardasil 9 can fight the human papillomavirus. It is essential to give the vaccine to a girl as it is to a boy, especially in the pre-teens.
HPV infection and boys approximately 79 million people primarily in their late teens and early twenties are infected with HPV. There are many types of this virus not all of them may cause cancer. One reason for the vaccination is so important is that it is possible for a person to pass it on unknowingly.
Certain types of HPV may cause genital warts. In many cases it might appear on the anus, testicles, penis, groin, scrotum, and thighs. It looks as a single lesion or clusters together and resembles a cauliflower. Generally, there are no severe health risks related to genital warts, still they can be embarrassing. Medical treatment is needed to remove them.
Some other strains of HPV may cause serious health problems like many types of cancer. In males, they can be-
- Penile cancer– Lumps, growth, swelling on the tip of the penis is one rarest type of cancer.
- Oropharyngeal cancer– This refers to throat, tonsils, tongue or mouth cancer. It is a kind of head-neck cancer caused by HPV. Men are more prone to develop HPV related oropharyngeal cancer than women though the reason is not apparently known.
- Anal cancer– Rectal itching, bleeding, pain or a sensation of fullness in the anal area are symptoms of anal cancer. Any abnormal discharge from the anus, change in bowel movements can be alarming too.
By getting your son vaccinated you are saving someone else’s daughter from a potentially life-threatening disease. So you know how important it is to get a male vaccinated for HPV.
Vaccination to young kids for HPV
Researches say that the ideal age of getting an HPV vaccine for both girls and boys is around 11 or 12. You may wonder why the vaccination is required for kids who are young, that too for a disease which transmits sexually. The reason is that the vaccine is less effective for people who have been already exposed to HPV or people who are sexually active.
It has been reported that HPV vaccine is given during the pre-teen years produces a more robust immune response to HPV diseases. For kids under 15, the vaccination is given in two doses with the first and second shot given in an interval of 6 to 12 months.
People above the age of 15 to 26 need to get 3 doses of vaccination in 2 months and the last one separated by 6 months after the second shot. The vaccinations have been found to be very safe and effective, but there are a few temporary Side Effects which may be experienced.
- Pain redness and swelling at the injection site
- A headache
- Muscle or joint pains
People who are allergic to yeast and other ingredients of Gardasil should not take the vaccine. Consult the doctor for these allergies who is aware of the medical history of your child and would advise you best.
There is no treatment for HPV but being aware and proactive by getting your son vaccinated and protecting him is the best way to fight HPV.