We have known for a long time that males can benefit from the HPV vaccine series. I wrote this back in 2011:
It would be great, for women, if boys got the vaccine too. Of course, boys cannot get cervical cancer, but they can carry the virus and infect women and give them cervical cancer. Eliminated boys as carriers protects women. BUT…
We cannot, ethically, ask boys to get a vaccine that has risks with no/little benefit to themselves just to protect other people.
Back in the day, everybody smoked. Or chewed. Or did something disgusting and dangerous with tobacco that caused lots and lots of oral cancers. All this tobacco use was overshadowing oral cancers caused by HPV! Now that tobacco use is not fashionable anymore, we can finally see the impact of HPV on oral cancers:
For example, HPV prevalence by Inno-LiPA increased from 16.3% during 1984 to 1989 to 71.7% during 2000 to 2004.
And then this in 2012:
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.
We *know* HPV causes head/neck/throat cancers in both genders, but I dont think parents prioritize getting their male children vaccinated (not that they prioritize getting the vax for their female children either…).
I hope Michael Douglas ‘coming out’ about the cause of his cancer will raise more awareness for the HPV vaccines and how they help *both* genders.
The vaccine works. Make sure your kids get it.