The ‘debate’ over the HPV vaccine has thus far has been a tug-of-war with radical religion/conservative politicians/nutbar anti-vaxers on one side, and the lives of women on the other side.
The HPV vaccine has been A Female Issue.
Turns out the people opposing the HPV vaccine were damning male children, as well.
Though I wrote about how HPV can cause head/neck/throat cancers in both genders before, there is more and more evidence coming to light that everyone, male and female, will benefit from the HPV vaccine series:
This group in Buffalo, New York looked at 124 squamous cell carcinomas of the mouth, oropharynx, and larynx, collected between 1997 and 2007 (the first HPV vaccine on the market in the US, Gardasil, wasnt available until mid-2006).
Of the 124 samples, 50 tumors were positive for HPV-16. Thats at least 40.3% of oral squamous cell carcinomas whos root cause was HPV.
I say ‘at least’ because the methods utilized in this study were very specific– Though 19 variants of HPV are associated with cancers, they only looked for the variant HPV-16 (which is included in both Gardasil and Cervarix). Other HPV variants could have been causing some of the HPV-16-negative lesions.
The vast majority of the HPV+ tumors were located in the oropharynx (65.3%), with a handful in the oral cavity (29%) and larynx (20.5%).
But this paper was not just about the connection between HPV and head/neck/throat cancers. They also noted that like pelvic inflammation in women is correlated with increased risk of HPV cancer, inflammation in the mouth lead to an increased risk of getting an HPV induced tumor. Periodontitis (advanced gingivitis) lead to a 2.6x increase in risk.
Parents– Make sure you nag your kids to brush their teeth every night. And get them the HPV vaccine series. Your actions now will save them pain and suffering later.