In October 2015, a group of 11 women working at the Canada Post won a $9 million lotto jackpot. And when the HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2006, women (as well as girls and boys) around the world hit the jackpot too! According to data analyzed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Within six years of vaccine introduction, there was a 64 percent decrease in 4-valent HPV-type prevalence among females ages 14 to 19, and a 34 percent decrease among those ages 20 to 24 years.” Clearly, the HPV vaccine works, and as a result we can expect to see a major decrease in the incidence of cervical cancer, as well as cancers of the throat, anus and vagina that are triggered by HPV. Plus, the vaccine now is even more protective than earlier versions: It covers nine strains of HPV, as opposed to four.
This vaccine introduces a small dose of various deactivated strains of HPV to the immune system, which then produces antibodies designed to kill them off. Some time later, if a living infection of the same strain tries to invade your child’s body, the already-fired-up immune system is ready to crush it. True, vaccines are not 100 percent foolproof, but you’d be foolish not to get this one for your daughters and sons. Just how often can you help protect your child from any form of cancer? Well, this is one sure way. And pretty soon it may be advocated for the 40-plus crowd too!
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic.