CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The National Foundation of Infectious Diseases, said around 79,000,000 people are currently infected with Human Papillomavirus. It is also known as HPV.
“HPV actually plays an extremely large role in the amount of cervical cancer rates,” Luz Santos, with Texas Tech Breast Center of Excellence, explained.
Although the CDC said that cervical cancer rates in women have gone down, however, professionals are encouraging them to still get screened regularly.
“It’s something people really have to stay on top that’s why we ask that women come and get your pap smears done and if they’re normal pap smears we ask you to come every three to five years. If you’ve had a history of abnormal pap smears then we want you to come in every year,” Santos stated.
To help combat HPV before it arises experts said there is a vaccine to help.
“We want to start those at the age of nine that way they are fully covered in their young adulthood. When we vaccinate women this is something that I’ve stressed whenever we’re out doing outreach in the community is that when we vaccinate a woman we are vaccinating and preventing a probable cancer,” Santos said.
Santos also explained that is is not just women who need the vaccine.
“It can cause cancer in men as well. Men don’t have a cervix but there are other areas that it can affect in men. More specifically like the head and neck cancers and male genitalia cancers as well,” Santos explained.
Santos said Texas Tech Breast Center of Excellence, usually hosts a pap Day however with the concerns of COVID-19 they will be still assisting those in the community who do not have insurance but they will be taking appointments instead.
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