Saskatchewan latest province to help protect boys from cancer with HPV vaccine

Grade 6 boys in Saskatchewan will now receive a vaccine to prevent some types of cancer.

Starting this year 7,500 boys will be eligible to receive the human papillomavirus, or HPV, vaccine.

“If you knew you could prevent cancer and your son or daughter develops that cancer, and they still might, but if you had an opportunity to try and prevent that when they were 9 to 15 with three simple shots or two simple vaccinations, why would you not do it?” she said.

The human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted virus in Canada and is linked to a number of cancers, including mouth, throat, penile and cervical cancers.

The vaccine works best when children are around Grade 6 because it’s usually before they’ve had sexual activity, and their immune systems respond better, Ziegler said.

“There is a 56 per cent increase in males developing mouth and throat cancers compared to women in a 20 year period. It’s extremely important for males to get vaccinated,” Ziegler added.

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