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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Committee Recommends Boys Get HPV Vaccine

One dose of the vaccine Gardasil, developed by Merck & Co. (AP)

One dose of the vaccine Gardasil, developed by Merck & Co. (AP)

An astronomical rise in throat and neck cancers in men is blamed on the human papillomavirus or HPV which also causes cervical cancer in women.

In fact, some researchers say these cancers in men may outnumber the cases of cervical cancer within a decade.

Infection with the virus, which is spread primarily through sexual contact, can be prevented through vaccination.

An advisory committee for the Centers for Disease Control is recommending vaccination for 11 and 12 year-old boys.

The vaccine has been routinely offered to girls since 2006.

Studies show that the vaccine is safe and effective. But it’s still been controversial because the virus is spread through sexual contact.


  • Dr. Robert Haddad, chief of the head and neck oncology program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. He’s a long-time advocate of vaccinating boys against HPV.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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