HPV news from The travel Clinic Ltd, Ipswich and Cambridge
Gardasil is the brand of HPV vaccine that will be offered to girls from this autumn. It protects against the strains of HPV implicated in causing cervical cancer, and also against some of the HPV strains which can cause external genital warts.
HPV is thought to increase the risk of other types of cancer including penile, oral and anal cancers in men. The medical community is keeping a close watch on these types of cancers, as although still relatively rare, the incidence is rising. At present, males are not routinely offered this vaccine as it is thought that by vaccinating girls it will reduce the number of men getting HPV because you become infected through sexual contact. However, males who have sexual relations with females who have not had the vaccine for various reasons, or males who have sexual contact with other males will not be protected.
The Gardasil HPV vaccine is licensed for men and boys between the ages of 16-26 years in the UK.
Whether or not to vaccinate yourself / your son is a personal decision, but one that should be informed and based on the medical facts to help you make the best decision.
Genital warts are flesh-toned or gray, raised or flat growths that appear on, in, and/or around the genitals. They can grow in clusters that resemble cauliflower, or they can appear singularly. In males, they can appear on the penis, scrotum, testicles, anus, groin, and thighs. They often require multiple visits for medical treatment to remove them, and there is no cure. They are unsightly, and can often be a cause of embarrassment.
In most cases, there is no major health risk associated with external genital warts; they do not cause cancer or even result from the same strain of HPV known to cause cancers. However, external genital warts are by no means the only consideration for vaccinating men and boys for HPV. Hopefully vaccinating males for HPV will result in
- less spreading of HPV among males and females
- hopefully, fewer cases of cervical cancer in women
- a decrease in other types of cancer such as oral, anal and penile cancers
If you would like more information, or to book an appointment with a nurse, please contact The Travel Clinic Ltd, on 01223 367362, or firstname.lastname@example.org