Cancer Prevention Through Vaccination
Each year, more than 11,000 U.S. women get cervical cancer. Almost all cases are caused by a common infection called HPV, or human papillomavirus, that often has no symptoms.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least four of every five women will experience a HPV infection. HPV is also common in men.
Fortunately, cervical cancer is one of the most preventable, and, when found early, one of the most treatable cancers.
Two tests can help prevent the cancer or find it early:
- HPV tests look for the virus
- Pap tests look for cell changes, known as precancers, on the cervix
The HPV vaccine is cancer prevention. It protects against the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers and is recommended for all pre-teens, including boys ages 11-12. Teens not already vaccinated, women up to age 26, and men up to age 21 can also get the vaccine.
Pap tests can identify cervical cancer early and are recommended for women aged 21-65 years old.
The most important things you can do to help prevent cervical cancer are:
- Get screened regularly
- Get the HPV vaccine when recommended
- Use condoms during sex
- Limit your number of sexual partners
- Don’t smoke
Be proactive in protecting against cancer and schedule your wellness exam today.