HPV vaccine for boys?

October 21, 2010 8:49:44 PM PDT
Health officials say there is important information that parents and teens need to know about -- oral sex is leading to throat cancer.Most couples say talk about sex has not included oral sex and the link to throat cancer.

"Definitely not, definitely not," NC State junior Justin Maness said.

"I never thought that oral sex would come into play like that," NC State junior Leah Maxwell said.

But doctors say it has -- the human papillomavirus or HPV, which causes cervical cancer in woman, is now showing up in head and neck cancers with a rising number of cases in young men.

They say the type of throat cancer they're seeing in young men from HPV is the type they see in someone who's been smoking for years.

Doctors at the Rex Cancer Center in Raleigh say they've seen quite a bit of it. They tell ABC11 Eyewitness News that they now routinely look for a specific sub-type of HPV in the tumor.

For years, many doctors have recommended young girls get the Gardasil vaccine to protect them from HPV.

Some doctors including local pediatricians want a bigger push for boys as young as 13 to get vaccinated too.

Queandra Ward, a NC State junior, says she feels there's been a greater rise in the number of young people having oral sex.

"Oral sex is an alternative for people who are trying to wait until they get married, but it should be treated just like you're having normal sex," she said. "So I feel like it can lead to health problems just like other sex."

Ward says she feels guys should get vaccinated.

Maxwell and her boyfriend agree. She's had the Gardasil shots herself.

"It might be one of those things where guys are like, 'Dang, I wish I got that,'" Maxwell said. "So, I think so, yeah."

"I guess so, I would if it's determined to be a link between that and cancer, I definitely don't want that," Maness said.

However, some doctors think the Gardasil vaccine is too risky and some insurance companies won't cover it for boys.

Health officials say it is something parents should research and talk to their doctor about, then decide what's best for the patient.

Send pictures | Classifieds | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts
Most Popular  |  Follow abc11 on Twitter  |  abc11 on Facebook


Load Comments