BOUNTIFUL, Utah (ABC4 Utah) — Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, yet thousands die from the disease.
Doctors are urging parents to get their children vaccinated when they’re as young as 9 years old.
39-year-old Carrie Vandermeide has a 9-year-old-girl. Her daughter has already been to the doctor’s office and is planning to get the HPV vaccine.
Doctors now know 99% of cervical cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV..
Carrie Vandermeide, “that’s scary. I feel it’s really important to catch it early.”
HPV is sexually transmitted. Doctors recommendation to get the vaccine early doesn’t sit well with some parents. Some believe, they’re inviting their children to be sexually active but doctors, including Dr. David Cope at the Ogden Clinic, say that’s not it at all.
Dr. David Cope, Cope Family Medicine at the Ogden Clinic, “controversy about giving it to them young because they’re going to be exposed, it’s too bad really we are doing that to get the vaccine when their immune system can use the vaccine to build up and fight off the virus when they’re exposed to it. Kids have such a robust immune system when they get the vaccine early they develop a good immune system and fight off the virus when exposed to it.
Dr. Cope says if your child does wait until 15-years-old to get the vaccine, they have to get 3 shots instead of 2 to reach the same efficacy.
250,000 women in the United State are living with cervical cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates there will be nearly 13,000 new cases this year and more than 4200 people will die from cervical cancer.
Dr. Cope, ‘it’s scary, in this day and age, when we have a vaccine that can prevent it and we can screen early and treat it. It’s unfortunate that it’s even around at all.”