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Illume supports teachers in calls for boys to receive HPV vaccine

Illume is delighted that members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers have backed calls for teenage boys to be offered a vaccine that reduces their risk of developing cancer.

The call came during the group’s annual conference and further serves to highlight the fact that human papillomavirus (HPV) is the second most common sexually transmitted disease in the UK, but hundreds of thousands of boys remain at risk due to a lack of vaccinations.

In British men HPV causes 1,412 cases of head and neck cancer alone each year not to mention the 600 cases of HPV-related cancers that are diagnosed every year as well.

Tim Rumney, clinical director at Illume, says: “As part of our Healthy Mouth Reviews, we always screen for mouth cancer but still feel much more needs to be done to protect men against developing the disease.

“Under the current system, only girls aged between 12 and 13 in UK schools are vaccinated against HPV to help protect them from developing cervical cancer but there are high profile cases where men have developed throat cancer due to an HPV-related infection, including the case of Hollywood actor Michael Douglas who is thankfully now in recovery.

“Today some 50,000 men are diagnosed each year with HPV-related cancers and, according to the NHS, throat cancers in men will overtake cervical cancers caused by the virus in women in just five years.

“More than 360,000 boys are left unprotected each year and we at Illume support the Association’s calls for the vaccine to be made available to them and help reduce these shocking figures,” he added.

If your Healthy Mouth Review is due please contact us for an appointment now.