Cancer prevention for children is generally a fairly straightforward task. Parents can feed their children healthy meals, encourage plenty of exercise, ensure they're wearing sunscreen, and teach them about the dangers of tobacco use. One cancer prevention tactic has become a bit more controversial in recent years though, despite its very direct impact on preventing cancer. The HPV vaccination can protect against cervical cancer, anal cancer, and several oral cancers, to name a few. But while some people have raised concerns about vaccine safety, the CDC and several other organizations closely monitor the safety of the HPV vaccine. Some parents have also expressed concern that vaccination for HPV, an STD, which is recommended for youth aged 11 - 12, may encourage earlier sexual behavior. Research has shown this isn't the case.
Ultimately, it's a parent's decision whether to vaccinate their child for HPV to prevent cancer. Recently one northern Nevada mom took to the Reno Mom's Blog to share her thoughts on HPV vaccination.
"There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. Many parents think that vaccinating their children for a sexually transmitted disease (STD) is encouraging them to have sex. I want to share with you today why I can say with absolute certainty that I will be getting this vaccine for my two sons and my daughter.
I didn’t know much about HPV until I got it myself. I waited a LONG time for my first sexual encounter. In fact, when I finally lost my virginity in my mid 20s, it was to a man that I believed was my soul mate. I am an educated and risk averse person. I grew up in the Bible Belt. I was as safe and prepared as could be. We always used protection.
That is why, about a month after that first encounter, I was shocked to find bumps on my nether regions. I promptly went to my OB-Gyn, and after a pap smear, I was diagnosed with HPV."