HPV vaccine now recommended for men through age 26

ATLANTA, Ga. (WPVI) -- The vaccine which prevents cancer is now being recommended for more adults.

The CDC has expanded the age categories for the HPV vaccine, which prevents infections with the human papilloma virus.

Initially, the vaccine was recommended for adolescents and women up to the age of 26.

Now, the CDC's vaccine committee says men up to 26 should get it - and it urges adults from 27 to 45 who haven't been vaccinated to talk to their doctors about it.

Human papillomavirus or HPV is a group of more than 200 related viruses, which can spread through sexual contact. In some cases, HPV infection can lead to six types of cancer: cervical, anal, penile, vaginal, vulvar and oropharyngeal (mouth and throat).

While most people have heard of HPV's link to cervical cancer, they aren't aware HPV oral and throat cancers will outnumber cervical cancers in about 5 years.

A new study shows that vaccination has cut the prevalence of 2 types of HPV by 83% in girls aged 13 to 19, and 66% among women 20 to 24.

The CDC's recommendation that children start receiving two doses of the HPV vaccine around 11 or 12 years old has not changed.

The committee recommendations won't be official until they're approved by the CDC director.

HPV is thought to cause 70% of oral and throat cancers in the United States.

Earlier this month, actress and "Desperate Housewives" star Marcia Cross revealed more details about her battle with anal cancer.

Cross first revealed her diagnosis in a series of Instagram photos in 2018.

Her husband, Tom Mahoney, was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2009.

Doctors now suspect that Cross' cancer and Mahoney's came from the same type of HPV.
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