Every year, more than 33,000 men and women are diagnosed with cancers caused by HPV. The American Cancer Society wants to change this with its “HPV Cancer Free” initiative.
HPV is very common. About four out of five people will get it at some point in their lives. The American Cancer Society's latest initiative "HPV Cancer Free" is hoping to increase HPV vaccinations by 80% by 2026.
"We know that HPV vaccination is cancer prevention and so we really want to help people avoid having to hear the words 'You have cancer,'" said Alesia Mitchell-Bailey from the American Cancer Society.
They recommend boys and girls, ages 11 and 12, receive the vaccine. The complete series at that age is two shots. The last chance to receive the vaccination is ages 15-26 with a complete series of 3 shots.
For parents who are hesitant about the vaccine, Alesia said the vaccination is safe and effective. The side effects are mild and like those of other vaccines.
"There are studies and monitoring that goes into place to insure that it is safe. It's preventing six cancers."
Those cancers include cervical, throat, anal and more. Philadelphia is leading the pack for HPV vaccinations, but Alesia feels there is room to grow. For more information, click here.