Great news: There is a vaccine that prevents cancer

The sad news is it’s underutilized

Dr. Charles E. Crutchfield, III

There is a virus that causes certain types of human cancer. It is the human papilloma virus. There are over 100 different subtypes of human papilloma virus. Some types of human papilloma virus can cause common and genital warts.

Fortunately, only nine types of human papilloma virus are associated with serious health concerns and human cancer. These are human papilloma virus subtypes 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58.

Approximately one-quarter of all Americans are infected with a type of human papilloma virus (HPV). That is more than 75 million people. HPV affects both boys and girls.

In fact, if you consider it, HPV infection is the most common form of sexually transmitted diseases. There are approximately 15 million new HPV infections in the United States every year, and half of these new infections are in people ages 14-24.

Many of the cases will resolve without any notice. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict which cases will resolve and which will not. The cases that do not resolve can cause serious disease or cancer.

(Courtesy of Dr. Crutchfield)

The interesting consideration is that most of the infections don’t immediately cause serious health symptoms or health problems. In this sense, it is almost a silent epidemic. Shockingly, over 25,000 cases of HPV-associated cancers arise in Americans every year.

The types of cancer associated with HPV infections include cancers of the:

  • cervix
  • penis
  • vagina
  • vulva
  • rectum/anus
  • throat
  • tongue
  • tonsils

In fact, HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer. The great news is that there is a vaccine that protects against many of the subtypes of HPV associated with cancer development. The vaccine should be administered to children around age 11 or 12 before the majority of people get exposed to the STD subtypes of HPV. In some cases, the vaccination can be administered before age 11, but check with your doctor to see if that is appropriate.

The sad news is that not enough children are getting the vaccine. Only about half of all boys get the vaccination, and only approximately 60 percent of girls get the HPV vaccine. It is recommended that children receive two doses of the vaccine, at least one year apart, around age 11 or 12.

HPV vaccination is still recommended for young adults until age 26 for women and age 21 for men if the earlier schedule is missed. If a patient is over 14 years old, a series of three vaccinations, instead of two, may be required. Your doctor will recommend the best vaccination schedule for your child.


This is a public health crisis

Physicians and nurses need to be better educated on the vaccine, and they need to discuss it at an increased volume with parents. Parents need to educate themselves about the vaccine and aggressively insist with their children’s pediatricians that their kids receive the HPV vaccination.

As always, the issue of vaccine safety comes up. Study after study has demonstrated that childhood vaccinations are safe. If there are additional concerns about vaccines that contain preservatives, ask that your doctor use a preservative-free vaccine.

The message from the United States Centers for Disease Control is clear: The Human Papilloma Virus vaccine prevents cancer, and it saves lives.

If you have not done so already, please talk to your children’s pediatrician about them getting the series of HPV vaccinations. Protect your children from getting cancers that they never need to get.


Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD is a board certified dermatologist and Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He also has a private practice in Eagan, MN. He received his M.D. and Master’s Degree in Molecular Biology and Genomics from the Mayo Clinic. He has been selected as one of the top 10 dermatologists in the United States by Black Enterprise magazine. Dr. Crutchfield was recognized by Minnesota Medicine as one of the 100 Most Influential Healthcare Leaders in Minnesota. He is the team dermatologist for the Minnesota Twins, Vikings, Timberwolves, Wild and Lynx. Dr. Crutchfield is an active member of both the American and National Medical Associations.


7 Comments on “Great news: There is a vaccine that prevents cancer”

  1. This article is full of false information.
    There is ZERO evidence that Cervarix and Gardasil will ever prevent a single case of cancer. The manufacturers, GSK and Merck, only ever state they are ‘intended to’ or ‘expected to’.

    Cervarix is expected to prevent 2 strains of HPV, Gardasil 4 strains and Gardasil9 9 strains but there are over 170 strains of HPV with at least 40 involved in cancers but scientists expect other strains, potentially more lethal, to take the place of those which might be prevented by the vaccines.

    The World Health Organisation has a database of adverse drug reports at There are over 280,000 adverse reactions in over 76,000 reports of adverse events with this vaccine, including 378, WHO also acknowledges only 10% get reported.

    What is worse there have been several reports of VACCINATED girls as young as 18 developing cervical cancer.

    1. That is a strange comment. While it’s too early to see effect on cancer rates, there is abundant evidence the vaccine prevents HPV infections – and there’s no cancer without the infection. It already dramatically reduced pre-cancerous lesions. It covers strains responsible for 90% of cancers: that’s a lot. And the vaccine cannot cause cancer: it only has viral particles.

      While there have been unsupported reports of harm, the vaccine has been studied in millions of women and found extremely safe; don’t let scare stories overcome actual data.

  2. This is an international peer-reviewed journal that has been around since 1945. It is the “Journal of the International League of Associations for Rheumatology,” and is the official journal of the Belgian Rheumatology Society.

    The study was conducted by doctors from the Rheumatology Department and the Immunology Department at the National Institute of Cardiology in Mexico City.

    The results of their study found:

    The lack of inert placebo in the vast majority of prelicensure HPV vaccine randomized studies
    Large randomized trials disclosed significantly more severe adverse events in the tested HPV vaccine cohort
    Pooled safety analysis found more post-immunization symptoms in bivalent HPV vaccine vs. hepatitis A vaccine
    Post-marketing HPV vaccine adverse events case series describe similar cluster of symptoms than those reported in pre-clinical trials
    The European Medicines Agency report on HPV vaccine safety looked at specific diagnoses and not at symptoms clusters
    In-depth analysis of some supportive post-marketing HPV vaccine safety studies discloses disquieting findings
    The study found the statistics regarding the new Gardasil 9 particularly troubling, as the statistics suggest that severe harm is suffered every 140 injections, and the number needed to vaccinate in order to see any perceived benefits to the vaccine is 1757.

  3. Thank you for speaking up. It’s sad that because of concerns about talking about sex and scare stories, some people avoid giving this safe, effective vaccine to their children. It’s bound to lead to preventable tragedies.

  4. Are saying gardasil and cervarix are queally ineffective?
    And are our implying WHO AND CDC Are at ODDS?
    Is there evidence in the scientific literature supporting these as causing cancer?

  5. One of my oldest friends got her daughter 2 of 3 of a vaccine on recommendation of her doctor. The first one bothered her but the doc said to do the 2nd. 5 minutes after the 2nd shot, her head tilted sideways, she walks off kilter now and can’t sit without vomiting which we took into the internet to seek another remedy for the HSV and got Doc Fred Whatsapp contact from his website. We made him to understand everything shes passing through which he said everything will be fine once she takes his herbal remedy within 4 weeks with no side effect whatsoever and today i can boldly say my friends daughter and also Maria a friend of mine are totally cured from herpes using Doc Fred herbal remedy

Comments are closed.