Cervical cancer kills a quarter-million women a year worldwide. Even though Pap smears have greatly lowered mortality rates, about 3,700 women in the United States die from cervical cancer each year.
The vaccine Gardisil prevents the 4 main strains of human papilloma virus (HPV) that can cause cervical cancer. It also prevents genital warts which may not cause cancer, but can give women the stress and financial burden of frequent office visits to eradicate this stubborn virus. A study put the annual cost of cervical H.P.V.-related disease at $2.25 billion to $4.6 billion.
Even though men (or boys) don’t get cervical cancer, they can develop penile cancer and also go through the tedious and often multiple treatments of these genital warts.
The fact that H.P.V. is the most common sexually transmitted infection, shouldn’t both sexes have the same social responsibility in protecting each other? Well, keep an eye out for Gardisil to be offered to boys in 2009. It may take alittle more persuading for mothers to get their sons vaccinated for a vaccine that primarily protects women against cervical cancer. What would you do?
A new front for the fight against cervical cancer involves boys….