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Few young men getting HPV vaccine even though they’re at risk for HPV-caused cancer

Only 16 percent of men aged 18 to 21 have received at least one dose of the Human Papilloma Vaccine, according to data from 2010-2018 health surveys. That compares with 42 percent of women of the same age.

While the HPV vaccine was originally approved in 2006 to prevent cervical cancer, this was extended to men in 2009.  Cancer of the throat, tonsils and back of the tongue has now surpassed cervical cancer as the leading cancer caused by HPV. And 80 percent of the patients diagnosed with this cancer are men.

“I don’t think that a lot of people, both providers and patients, are aware that this vaccine is actually a cancer-prevention vaccine for men as well as women,” says Michelle M. Chen, MD, of the University of Michigan.

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