"Unprotected: The Link Between Missed Vaccines and Cancer Risks"
Dr. N. Senthil Kumar PhD,
Saveetha College of physiotherapy, SIMATS, Chennai
Ms. Akshaya. V, MPT Saveetha College of physiotherapy, SIMATS, Chennai
Missing the HPV vaccine in the immunization schedule can leave individuals vulnerable to HPV infection and its associated complications, including cervical cancer and other HPV-related cancers. If someone has missed receiving the HPV vaccine according to the recommended schedule, they need to catch up on their vaccination as soon as possible.
Boys and girls aged 9 -12 should receive the HPV vaccine. To be effective, the vaccination should be completed by age 13. 9vHPV administration is an intramuscular (IM) injection in the deltoid region or anterior lateral thigh area. Current vaccination recommendations are based on the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Age 9 to 15 years: Two doses of the HPV vaccine are recommended for most patients. The second dose of the HPV vaccine is administered 6 to 12 months after the first dose. Adolescents who have received two doses less than five months apart require a third dose of the HPV vaccine.
Age 15 to 26 years: Three doses of the HPV vaccine are recommended for teens and young adults who start the series at 15 through 26 years. The recommended three-dose schedule is 0, 1 to 2, and 6 months. Three doses are recommended for a patient with immune-
compromised conditions (e.g., HIV infection, immunosuppressive therapy)
Age 27 to 45 years: Most adults in this age group would have very minimal benefits from vaccination. Individuals who are not already immunized to HPV (e.g., a previously unvaccinated person who has never had sex) and the person at risk for acquiring a newer
HPV infection shortly (e.g., who plans to have sex with a new partner) might benefit from vaccination.
Debunking Myths and Misconceptions: The route of HPV transmission is primarily through skin-to-skin or skin-to-mucosa contact. Sexual transmission is the most documented, but there have been studies suggesting non-sexual courses. The horizontal transfer of HPV includes fomites, fingers, and mouth, skin contact (other than sexual).
Vertical transmission from mother to child is another HPV transfer course. Several studies have emphasized the possibility of infection through the amniotic fluid, or the placenta, or via contact with maternal genital mucosa during natural birth.
Overcoming Barriers to Vaccination: While the HPV vaccine offers significant benefits, barriers to vaccination persist, including cost, access, and cultural factors. Efforts to increase vaccine accessibility, such as implementing school-based vaccination programs and
subsidizing vaccine costs, are essential in reaching underserved populations. Additionally, culturally sensitive education initiatives can address cultural beliefs and promote vaccine acceptance within diverse communities.
HPV Vaccination for Men’s Health: While cervical cancer is often associated with HPV, the virus can also cause other cancers in men, including anal, penile, and oropharyngeal cancers. By getting vaccinated, men can significantly reduce their risk of developing these types of cancers later in life.