It's an answer to cancer, a vaccine designed to prevent the two most common forms of an extremely common sexually transmitted disease. However, despite being able to prevent nearly all cases of cervical cancer, the vaccines for HPV (human papillomavirus) come with a bit of controversy.
During the primary debates for the 2012 Presidential race, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was question for reportedly saying the HPV vaccine could "potentially be a very dangerous drug." One debate moderator further pressed Bachmann for claiming the vaccines could lead to mental retardation, claims Bachmann denied.
Still, pediatricians like Dr. Alix Casler of Physician Associates worry the misinformation is still out there. "The fact is, if it were dangerous at all we would know," Dr. Casler told us.
Dr. Casler vaccinated all five of her own children -- boys and girls, but she realizes some parents fear the vaccine will imply a ‘permission slip' for sexual promiscuity. "I think it's just the implication that it's transmitted by sexual activity," Dr. Casler believes of the vaccines' ability to be given as young as 9 years old. "That is a very hard place for parents to go with their children. I know that. I don't want to think about my teenager growing up and having sex, except, of course they will."
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also reports the vaccine doesn't just prevent many cases of cervical cancer, the drugs can also reduce the risk of a half dozen other cancers in women and men. Every year, the CDC believes HPV vaccines could eliminate more than 20,000 cases of cancer!
In the accompanying video, FOX 35's Chase Cain further explores the controversy and the benefits of the HPV vaccine.