HPV VACCINES PREVENT INFECTIONS THAT CAN CAUSE CANCER
What is HPV?
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause various health problems, including genital warts and certain types of cancer. HPV is the chief cause of cervical cancer, the fourth most common for women worldwide.
How do HPV vaccines protect me?
HPV vaccines are designed to prevent infection by some of the most prevalent strains of HPV, including those responsible for most cases of cervical cancer, as well as other types of cancer and genital warts.
Aside from preventing cervical cancer, the HPV vaccine offers significant benefits: it helps prevent other HPV-derived types of cancer (anal, vaginal, oropharyngeal), reduces the risk of genital warts, and can even render unnecessary medical procedures like colposcopy and cervical biopsies, used to diagnose HPV-related abnormalities.
Who should get the HPV vaccine?
It is recommended that both boys and girls receive the HPV vaccine before they become sexually active, ideally between the ages of 11 and 12. Vaccination at this age provides the best protection by helping to ensure vaccination before potential HPV exposure. However, the vaccine can be given to anyone up to age 45 who has not already been vaccinated. Ask your doctor if an HPV vaccine is right for you.
Additional information about the HPV vaccine and cancers caused by HPV can be found on the CDC website