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HPV vaccine helps prevent cancer, San Antonio doctor says

Children as young as 9, adults up to 45 can take HPV vaccine

A vaccination not required for the start of school is just as important as the rest and proven to prevent several cancers.

San Antonio pediatric oncologist Allison Grimes said while the human papillomavirus, or HPV, can lead to cancer, there is a solution to prevent it.

"The current version of the HPV vaccine is active against the nine known types of HPV that are associated with malignancy," Grimes said.

"I think what’s most important to remember is that the HPV vaccine is a cancer prevention vaccine and very rarely do we ever have the opportunity to prevent an entire family of cancers," she said.

Grimes said the virus is common and that 98 percent of the adult population is exposed to it at some point.

"As an oncologist, working with children with various types of cancers every day, every parent wishes that there could have been something that could have been done," Grimes said.

The HPV vaccine is available for children as young as 9, and adults up to the age of 45.

As part of the partnership with the University Health System, KSAT is asking readers to submit their vaccination-related questions by clicking on the link provided.

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About the Author:

Stephanie Serna

Stephanie Serna joined the KSAT 12 News team in November 2009 as a general assignments reporter.