In 10 seconds? The wide administration of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has slashed cases of cervical cancer by almost 90%. However, public health officials are still fighting stigma and misinformation to improve those rates even further and prevent HPV-associated cancers in men as well.
What’s the story? When it comes to cancer, we know that prevention is key; it just makes sense. It’s undoubtedly preferable to never get cancer in the first place than to get a cancer diagnosis and spend time, money, and energy hoping you’ve caught it in time for a cure. Luckily, with HPV-associated cancers, prevention has never been easier with the invention of the HPV vaccine (marketed as Gardasil® which covers 9 strains, or Cevarix which covers 2), which has proven widely successful in preventing many types of cancer for both men and women (with no crazy diet or exercise routine needed!) But misinformation and stigma have dissuaded some parents from getting their kids vaccinated and stunted the vaccine’s life-saving potential.