Alerts
Masks are Required

Wearing masks helps us keep each other safe. Masks are required in our facilities.

If you cannot wear a mask, contact your care team before you visit to discuss telehealth. Patients and visitors not wearing masks will not be permitted to enter.

Skip Navigation
Cancer Awareness

HPV and Head and Neck Cancer Awareness

Each year, more than 60,000 men and women in the United States are diagnosed with head and neck cancers. About 70% of these are caused by human papillomavirus. About 10% of men and 3.6% of women have HPV in their oropharynx (tonsils and back of throat).

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. It can cause cancers of the throat, as well as cancers of the genital regions in men and women. The American Cancer Society recommends the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer and precancers.

Know the numbers:

  • About 80 million Americans are infected with HPV.
  • About 14 million people become newly infected each year.
  • About 80% of sexually active men and women get HPV infections at some point in their lives.

Use these downloadable tools to learn more and help spread awareness:

Protecting our most valuable resource

The vaccine is Food and Drug Administration-approved to be given at age 9 and recommended for preteen boys and girls at age 11 or 12, when it is most effective. The FDA has also approved the vaccine for adults up to age 45. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends boys and girls age 11-12 receive 2 doses of the HPV vaccine at least 6 months apart. (Read the CDC news release.) Previously, the CDC recommended 3 doses to protect against cancers caused by HPV infections. The updated recommendation from the CDC will make it easier for parents to get their children protected.

Adolescents age 13-14 are also able to receive HPV vaccination on the new 2-dose schedule. Teens and young adults who begin the series later, at age 15-26, will still need 3 doses of HPV vaccine to protect against cancer-causing HPV infection. Vaccination ensures adolescents are protected before ever being exposed to the virus.

More than 80 million doses of the HPV vaccine have been given in the United States with no serious problems. The CDC has found no proof that the HPV vaccine causes harmful side effects.

The vaccine is most beneficial when given before children come in contact with the virus. Young teens build more antibodies against the HPV vaccine and are less likely to already have HPV.

Vaccinating your child against HPV helps protect them from possible infection in later years that can lead to:

  • Cancers of the mouth and throat
  • Cancer of the cervix, anus and penis
  • Genital warts

HPV frequently asked questions

Get answers to frequently asked questions about the HPV vaccine.

  • The vaccine is FDA-approved to be given at age 9 and recommended for preteen boys and girls at age 11 or 12. At this age, children have a higher immune response to the vaccine. The FDA has also approved the vaccine for individuals through the age of 45.

    The CDC recommends boys and girls ages 11-12 receive the 2-dose HPV vaccine 6 to 12 months apart. Teens and young adults who begin the series later, at age 15-26, will need 3 doses of HPV vaccine to protect against cancer-causing HPV infection. The American Cancer Society and CDC recommend the HPV vaccine to prevent cancer that can result from an HPV infection.

  • Children should receive the vaccine prior to being exposed to HPV for the vaccine to be most effective. Young teens build more antibodies against the HPV vaccine and are less likely to already have HPV. Vaccinating your child against HPV helps protect them.

  • The series of shots ensures greater protection. If your child gets the HPV vaccine he or she will make proteins, called antibodies, that fight the virus. Antibodies give strong and long-lasting protection.

  • Years of studying people who have had the HPV vaccine show that it is safe. The HPV vaccine may cause temporary dizziness or nausea when it is injected, but it rarely causes harmful side effects. More than 80 million doses of the HPV vaccine have been given in the United States with no serious problems.

    Talk to your family doctor about which HPV vaccine is right for your child.

Learn more about HPV

Related links