The HPV Vaccine and Why You Should Get It
- Posted on: Mar 2 2023
Thousands of women die of cervical cancer every year but some of these deaths could have been prevented with the HPV vaccine.
Cervical cancer was previously the leading cause of cancer death among women. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2023 there will be approximately 13,960 new cases of invasive cervical cancer diagnosed and 4,310 women will die from cervical cancer in the United States. What does this have to do with the HPV vaccine? Read on to find out.
What Does the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Have to Do With Cervical Cancer?
The cervix is located on the bottom part of the uterus where the uterus and the vagina connect. Cervical cancer occurs when cancerous cells grow within the cervix. All women are at risk for cervical cancer but there are factors that can increase your risk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common cause and risk of developing cervical cancer is the human papillomavirus (HPV). The majority of cervical cancers are caused by HPV.
What is the Human Papillomavirus?
The human papillomavirus is a virus that is spread by having sex with someone who has HPV. There are several types of HPV and some of them cause damage to a woman’s cervix and lead to cervical cancer. HPV is very common and often has no symptoms.
What is the Best Way to Prevent HPV and Cervical Cancer?
The best way to prevent HPV and cervical cancer is to get vaccinated against HPV and get routine cervical cancer screenings. The HPV vaccine is also commonly known as Gardasil. It is recommended for all males and females from the age of 9 to 26 years old. It is a 2 or 3-dose series depending on your age when you get vaccinated. In some cases, it may also be recommended for adults up to the age of 45 years old.
Screening tests for cervical cancer are recommended to start when a woman is 21 years old. The most common test is called the Pap test or Pap smear. The Pap test is routinely done every three years at an annual gynecologist appointment.
- Cervical cancer statistics: Types of cervical cancer. American Cancer Society. (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2023
Posted in: Women's Health