Doctor concerned HPV vaccine not being utilized enough to avoid cancer

CSRA News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – An HPV or Human Papillomavirus vaccine on the market for more than a decade still has some push back, but a Georgia Cancer Center professor and doctor told NewsChannel 6 more people need to take it.

Georgia Cancer Center Professor Dr. Daron Ferris is stressing one thing.

“HPV causes all types of cancer, both in men and women.”

It’s been almost 14 years since people have had access to a vaccine doctors say can prevent 90 percent of cancers.

“Cervical cancer is the most common cause of HPV related cancer,” Dr. Ferris told us. “For instance, anal cancer does happen. Head and neck cancer is growing as rapidly as well.”

Gardasil, an HPV vaccine administered in two or three shots, was very new when it came out in 2006, according to Dr. Ferris, and has had some push back. But he added despite research proving it’s safe, not enough people are taking advantage of something that can prevent cancer.

He explained, “The body creates antibodies to immobilize HPV when it tries to enter the body. 80 percent of us around the world get HPV unless we’re vaccinated.”

Through the years, the concern remains. When posted to social media, viewers proved it’s still a hot button issue.

One person commented that they feel there is “not enough research and is against it because it only prevents four types.”

Another person said she is unsure of whether those who are sexually active can get the shot. The CDC reports it’s fine. The misunderstanding is an issue Dr. Ferris said can be helped through educating more health care providers.

“Now, the vaccine is approved between 9 and 45 years of age. The FDA approved it because we were doing such a poor job in vaccinating the 9 to 26 year olds when Gardasil was first approved,” he said.

Julie Mason Brantley shares, “Please get them vaccinated” and goes on to say “in 2016 I was diagnosed with cervical cancer.” She now has Stage 4 lung cancer with no cure. It’s a fate Dr. Ferris said can possibly be avoided.

“It doesn’t make sense,” he explained. “If you had a vaccine to prevent cancer, why wouldn’t you want to get that vaccine.”

Dr. Ferris shared that people with a yeast allergy may have complications with Gardasil and the symptoms for others without that allergy are pretty much just soreness in the shot area.

The CDC shares the sheets below to help answer questions for some who are still unsure about the vaccine.

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