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HPV (human papillomavirus) is a fairly common virus that can lead to various types of cancer later in life. You can protect your children from developing these cancers throughout their lives with the HPV vaccine given between the ages of 11 and 12, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.(CDC). An estimated 80 million people – about one in four – are currently infected with HPV in the United States. Young adults up to age 26 can also be vaccinated. Three doses are recommended for people under the age of 15, according to the CDC. In general, cancers caused by HPV include cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, or anus. HPV infection can also cause cancer in the back of the throat, including the tongue and tonsils. HPV is spread through sexual contact with someone who carries the virus.

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