HOUSTON (FOX 26) - We can't go back in time and get a vaccine before we get sick, but if she could, two-time cervical cancer survivor Kara Million would go back and get the HPV vaccine.
She tested positive in 2004, and developed cancer the first time after her daughter was born.
"It was a very trying time for me and my family. It was hard because I had little ones at home." she says.
According to the CDC, HPV infections cause 27,000 new cancer diagnoses each year in the U.S. The virus causes cancers of the throat, cervix, genitals and anus. Yet currently only 40% of girls and 21% of boys get vaccinated against it.
69 cancer treatment centers simultaneously releasing statements urging vaccinations is designed to change that.
Head and neck surgeon Dr. Erich Sturgis with M.D. Anderson Cancer Center says we need to do better. This vaccine works and it's safe.
"We have a historic opportunity to prevent these cancers...cancers related to the HPV in the next generation. So there's just no question that we should be vaccinating our children, so their generation doesn't have to suffer through what we see every day." he says.
Million got treatment and has been cancer free for five years now. She, for one, needs no convincing about the vaccine.
"My kids are going to get it for sure when they come of age. There will be no question that both of my kids will be vaccinated for the HPV virus. I don't want anyone to go through this."