HPV Action invites dentists to share their views on HPV vaccination

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HPV Action is inviting dentists to participate in a survey to share their views on HPV vaccination, after the possibility of extending the routine vaccination programme was discussed by the government.

Currently, the vaccination is provided routinely for girls aged 12 and 13; however, there are plans to extend the programme to include teenage boys in the coming months. The vaccine is given to teenage girls to protect them from cervical cancer, but studies have shown a link between some strain of HPV and oral cancer, a type of cancer that affects both sexes.

The government is set to make a decision related to expanding the current programme in June 2017, and HPV Action is encouraging dentists to share their opinions in the lead-up. Peter Baker, campaign manager, described it as “unethical” to exclude boys from the programme, given that there is a growing body of evidence to support the link between oral cancer and HPV.

Mr Baker believes that boys should be offered the vaccination at the same time as girls.

The survey is confidential, and it will be available until the 13th April.

HPV Action’s calls have been backed by MP Jane Ellison, who suggested that the vaccine should be made available for all “adolescents regardless of gender” at a debate in the House of Commons.

Oral cancer cases have soared in the last decade, with the number of cases rising among both sexes.

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