Prevent Cancer? There’s a vaccine for that.

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As parents, the wellness and safety of our children is always our highest priority. So, what if you could do something today to help protect their future health, and even prevent some types of cancers? While not all are preventable, you can vaccinate your child against human papillomavirus (HPV)-related diseases.

There is currently a worldwide epidemic of cancers that are now known to be caused by HPV. Although many people have HPV in their bodies and their health is never impacted, some HPV infections can become cancerous. Unfortunately, HPV vaccination rates across the U.S. remain low, even though there is a safe and effective vaccine that can prevent HPV related cancers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that 87 percent of boys and 58 percent of girls in Louisiana are not vaccinated. The agency also says that 30,000 cancers in the United States could be prevented if more people received the vaccine. This striking number helps hit home the importance of HPV vaccination, especially when you consider the potential lives saved.

National guidelines from the CDC recommend boys and girls begin the HPV vaccine series at age 11 or 12 when they receive the vaccines that help prevent meningitis, whooping cough and tetanus. Even if your child is older, it’s not too late. Women can be vaccinated through age 26 and men through age 21.

Studies continue to prove the effectiveness of the HPV vaccine in decreasing infections and HPV cancers in young people. Talk to your pediatrician about any concerns you have and the benefits of the HPV vaccine. Together, you can determine if it’s right for your child.

About Dr. Daniel Nuss

Daniel W. Nuss, MD earned his degree in medicine from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine. He performed residencies at Charity Hospital of Louisiana in New Orleans (general surgery), MD Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute at the University of Texas in Houston (surgical oncology of the head and neck), and Louisiana State University Medical Center (otolaryngology). Dr. Nuss did his Fellowship training in surgery of the cranial base at the University of Pittsburgh in Pa. He is Board Certified in Otolaryngology. Dr. Nuss serves as Chair of the Head and Neck Cancer Multidisciplinary Team at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center, and is also a professor for the LSU Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

About Dr. Shaun Kemmerly

Shaun Kemmerly, MD received her medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans. Her pediatric residency was completed at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Dr. Kemmerly is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in general pediatrics. Dr. Kemmerly serves as Chief Medical Officer for Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, and is Clinical Medical Director of the Pediatric Hospitalists of Louisiana.

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