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Evesham dentists join fight for HPV vaccines for boys

by Evesham Dental, on 18th July 2017 | Comments Off on Evesham dentists join fight for HPV vaccines for boys

Dentists from Evesham Dental Health Team in Broadway Road are lending their weight to a campaign for boys as well as girls to receive the HPV vaccine.

There is a growing number of organisations and charities calling for immediate action from the Government, including HPV Action, a collaborative partnership of 47 patient and professional organisations that are working to reduce the health burden of HPV.

As posted on our Facebook page, the Mouth Cancer Foundation has recently said that its reasons for vaccinating boys are:

• Men who have sex with men are not protected by the girls’ [programme
• The total burden of HPV-related diseases affects men and women equally
• The vaccination of boys is more cost effective
• And increasing number of countries either already vaccinate boys or will soon

It is estimated that a gender-neutral vaccination would cost, at most, an extra £22m a year to implement. To put that into perspective, the cost of treating oropharyngeal cancer in the UK alone was over £30 million a year in 2010/11, up from £17 million in 2006/7.

The annual cost of treating genital warts is an estimated £58.5 million a year, with more spent on men because they are more likely to be diagnosed with the disease. The introduction of a gender-neutral vaccination could therefore save the NHS millions of pounds in vital funding each year.

A gender-neutral vaccination policy would also help cut the number of deaths caused by mouth cancer – which stands at more than 2,000 a year in the UK. Mouth cancer claims more lives per year than cervical and testicular cancer combined.

Free mouth cancer screening in Evesham

Evesham Dental Health Team in Worcestershire offers free mouth cancer screening to anyone from across Evesham, Pershore, Stratford and Worcester. Our existing patients are regularly screened as standard.

Currently only girls aged 12-13 receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination through a school-based programme and it is highly effective in the prevention of cervical cancer. But boys are also at serious risk as HPV is one of the leading causes of mouth, penile and anal cancer. Cervical cancer is not the only cancer caused by HPV and girls are certainly not the only people whose lives are at risk.

A decision on whether to vaccinate boys is expected to be made by the Government’s vaccination advisory committee (JCVI) sometime this year at the earliest. Even if the right decision is made, implementation of the boys’ programme might not begin until 2020. If so, this would mean that, between 2013 (when JCVI began its assessment of whether to vaccinate boys) and 2020, over 2.5 million more boys will have missed out on vaccination and remain unprotected.

If you are not already vaccinated you might want to know if you are carrying the virus and might be at risk, or else putting a partner at risk.
An easy screening test involving sending a sample of saliva to the OralDNA laboratory in the USA is now available at Evesham Dental Health Team.

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