Cervical Cancer (cont.)

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Can cervical cancer be prevented? What is the cervical cancer vaccine?

Cervical cancer can often be prevented with vaccination and modern screening techniques that detect precancerous changes in the cervix. The incidence of cervical cancers in the developed world declined significantly after the introduction of Pap screening to detect precancerous changes, which can be treated before they progress to become cancer.

Moreover, vaccines are available against the common types of HPV that cause cervical cancer. Gardasil, Gardasil-9, and Cervarix are three different HPV vaccines. Gardasil has been shown to be 100% effective in preventing infection by four common HPV types (6, 11, 16, 18) in young people who not previously infected with HPV. Gardasil 9, a newer version of the vaccine, was approved in December 2014 and provides immunity to 9 HPV types (6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58). Cervarix prevents infection from HPV types 16 and 18, which are the two HPV types most commonly associated with cervical cancer.

Vaccination should occur before sexual activity to offer the full benefit of the vaccine. The CDC recommends that 11- to 12-year-old girls receive the HPV vaccine, and young women ages 13 through 26 should get the vaccine if they did not receive any or all doses when they were younger. Gardasil is also approved for use in males aged 9 to 26, and the CDC recommends Gardasil for all boys aged 11 or 12 years, and for males aged 13 through 21 years who did not receive the full three vaccination series. Men can receive the vaccine up to age 26.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/4/2016


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Cervical Cancer - Risk Factors Question: Did you have any of the risk factors for cervical cancer at the time of your diagnosis? If so, what were they?
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