The provincial budget included $750,000 to provide the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to Saskatchewan boys in grade 6.
The programs have been provided to girls in the province since 2008.
HPV is the most common sexually-transmitted virus in Canada and is linked to a number of cancers.
“This vaccine is going to protect boys from cancers down the road which saves lives and saves healthcare costs,” said Donna Pasiechnik with the Canadian Cancer Society.
“We will be using the expansion of the HPV vaccination program as an opportunity to encourage parents to vaccinate their boys.”
A recent study by the Canadian Cancer Society and the Public Health Agency of Canada showed 1,200 Canadians die every year from HPV related cancers.
In it’s news release, the Canadian Cancer Society quoted statistics that show HPV mouth and throat cancers are up among men by 56% over a 20 year period. Men are four times more likely to be diagnosed with oral cancer than women.
“As a surgeon treating patients with HPV related cancers and a father of four boys, I am very excited that the Ministry of Health will be providing the HPV vaccine to boys and girls alike,” said Gary Groot, director of surgical oncology at the University of Saskatchewan.