Boys ben­e­fit greatly from the HPV vac­cine

Waikato Times Weekend - - WAIKATO WEEKEND -

I was pleased to see your ar­ti­cle (Waikato Times, July 15) re­gard­ing hu­man pa­pil­lo­mavirus (HPV) vac­ci­na­tion for boys, and the comments by the Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer of Health, Dr Felic­ity Dum­ble. How­ever, the ar­ti­cle gives the im­pres­sion that the main rea­son for vac­ci­nat­ing boys is to con­trib­ute to the herd ef­fect, and thereby re­duce the in­ci­dence of cer­vi­cal cancer.

While im­por­tant, for some in­di­vid­u­als this is not rea­son enough to vac­ci­nate their sons. I would like to point out that, as well as warts, which are trou­ble­some enough, there are some HPV-re­lated can­cers which pref­er­en­tially af­fect males.

As an ear, nose and throat sur­geon who is part of a team of health pro­fes­sion­als treat­ing can­cers in the head and neck re­gion, I am all too fa­mil­iar with HPV-re­lated throat can­cers, which are af­fect­ing an in­creas­ing num­ber of men.

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