According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of over 100 types of viruses that are extremely common globally. Fourteen of these viruses are considered high-risk and cancer causing. HPV infection is mainly transmitted shortly after the onset of sexual activity. Certain types of sexually acquired HPV infections can lead to certain cancers. HPV 16 and HPV 18 are known to cause 70% of cervical cancers and pre-cancerous cervical lesions. HPV has also been linked to cancers of the anus, vulva, vagina, penis, and oropharynx.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends that the routine HPV vaccination can start at age 11 or 12 and a “catch-up” vaccine is recommended for persons through age 26. The purpose for this public health initiative is because of the massive burden of HPV and its cancer-causing impact on the US population. The CDC states, “Approximately 33,700 cancers are caused by HPV in the United States each year, including 12, 900 oropharyngeal cancers among men and women, 10,800 cervical cancers among women, and 6,000 anal cancers among men and women; vaginal, vulvar, and penile cancers are less common.”
Consult your healthcare provider regarding the HPV vaccine for your adolescents or for a ‘catch-up” vaccine or to request testing for HPV or any sexually transmitted disease. To schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider at any of our convenient Primary Medical Care Center community clinics, you may visit our website at www.primarymed.com, or call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic, or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic.