June 25, 2012

HPV Vaccine: Is for men too!

By Ashley Strauss, Ivanhoe Health Correspondent

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — 60% of all oral cancers and 90% of all cervical cancers are directly linked to HPV. Now, doctors are saying men should be paying attention to the ads as much as women.

HPV is also responsible for 90% of anal cancers and 50 % penile cancers. HPV is a virus contracted through sexual contact, and can lead to genital warts, as well as lesions, cancers, and even death.

The vaccine Gardasil helps to prevent the virus, but according to Nurse Practioner and professor at the University of Virginia, Mikel Gray, "Only 47% of women, and 1% of men get vaccinated, which is shocking statistics."

Mikel Gray explained how, "Most male patients are ashamed and embarrassed about the symptoms of HPV and will not seek treatment until the symptoms become so severe they can no longer manage their own personal hygiene." Symptoms included but are not limited to horrible odor of the genital area, pain, discolored discharge, warts, and lesions.

"There has been so much focus on women getting vaccinated, which is a good thing, but men need to be vaccinated too," Gray said. There is a prediction that 1,570 males will be diagnosed with HPV in 2012 and out of these, 300 will die.

"Males with HPV are a special group of patients who tend to be overlooked," added Gray. The results of HPV in men can be devastating if left untreated. One of these results is penile amputation. "Penile amputation is very traumatizing to a man and causes a severe life," Gray explained.

"Men should be vaccinated not only to protect themselves of the devastating effects of HPV, but also their woman, and future family," Gray said.

Gray also suggests that boys between the ages of 9-16 be vaccinated in order to ensure their safety as they get older.

"It is all about informing the man and protecting the woman" Gray added. "If parents would see the lesions and smell the horrible odors these men with HPV end up having, they would get their boys vaccinated," Gray concluded.

SOURCE: American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Conference in Orlando Florida, June 20-24, 2012. Interview with Mikel Gray.