PORTLAND,Ore ... Nowadays Gregor Miziumski is comfortable in the kitchen, a place he was not sure he would ever get to enjoy again. Several years ago he spent a lot of uncomfortable times in doctors offices after experiencing some discomfort in his throat.
At first I thought food was stuck or it was a little bit of a sore throat or some swelling or something, said Gregor.
It was something far worse - throat cancer.
Your blood runs cold, said Gregor. You get that chill.
Gregor was not a smoker. His cancer was caused by oral sex. Doctors say the kind of cancer he had was caused by human papillomavirus or HPV for short. Normally associated with cervical cancer, the number of oral cancers it is causing in men is on the rise. 11,000 new cases are expected this year according to the American Cancer Society. Gregor's surgeries were successful.
I'm here, Ihave my teeth, I'm healthy.
And Gregor is motivated to help others avoid the cancer he endured. A vaccine given before children become sexually active can help prevent the disease. Because it deals with sex, many parents are uncomfortable with it, but Gregor's doctor points to the science.
I can't imagine why anyone would withhold this vaccination from their children, said Dr. Eric Dierks.
Dr. Dierks says recommendations suggest girls get vaccinated between the ages of nine and 26. Boys should be vaccinated between the ages of nine and 21.
This is one of the greatest gifts you can give your kids, said Dierks.
The upside is incredible, added Gregor.
The vaccine comes in a series of three shots over several months. The cost is around $300.