FDA Approves HPV Vaccine Gardasil As Throat Cancer Prevention
The HPV vaccine (Gardasil 9) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for males and females ages 9 to 45 years to prevent HPV-related genital tract and anogenital infections and cancers for several years. In 2006 it was approved for girls ages 9-26 years to prevent early HPV lesions of the cervix which could potentially become precancerous or cancerous. As cervical cancer is frequently caused by HPV, the vaccine was initially recommended solely to prevent cervical cancer in women. The current Gardasil-9 vaccine prevents nine subtypes of human papillomavirus, or HPV. These infections are commonly known as genital and anogential warts. Many of these lesions can later go on to be cancerous, making HPV infections one of the most common causes of cervical cancer in women and anal cancer in both men and women. There are just under 11,000 cases of HPV-related cervical cancer diagnosed each year. If the vaccine is given in early puberty, prior to sexual activity, the likelihood of viral transmission of this sexually transmitted infection from person to person reduces dramatically. While many skeptics raised concerns that administering this vaccine to pre-teens and teens may lead to earlier sexual activity, this has been found not to be the case.