HPV (human papillomavirus) is so common that almost everyone who becomes sexually active gets it at some point in their lives. Everyone is at risk of getting HPV and the cancers caused by the virus, which is why vaccination and screenings are so important. Increasing vaccination, early cancer detection, promoting healthy lifestyles, and expanding access to health care help reduce inequalities in cancer including HPV cancers among groups at greatest risk. As many as 93% of cervical cancers could be prevented by HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening.
Preventing HPV Cancers
It's true! You can prevent cancer. HPV vaccination can prevent the HPV infections that most commonly cause these cancers. HPV vaccine can decrease HPV cancer rates and help to improve the health of both men and women across the country. CDC recommends that all preteens (age 11 or 12 years old) get three doses of HPV vaccine before age 13 to protect against cervical, anal cancer and genital warts. In addition to the vaccine, screening programs for cervical cancer are also critical in reducing the burden of this disease.
What You Can Do?
You can help prevent HPV cancers by getting your child vaccinated and encouraging women in your community to be screened for cervical cancer (Pap testing). If your preteen hasn't started or finished the HPV vaccine series, call your child's doctor or nurse to make an appointment to get the first shot. If you have a teen who is not yet vaccinated, it's not too late, they can still receive the vaccine too. Remember that every time your child has a visit to see the doctor or nurse is an opportunity to discuss HPV cancer prevention.
Educate yourself, your family, and your community on HPV and HPV vaccine. Get the shot or get the screening to prevent the spread of HPV cancers in your community!
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Go to www.cdc.gov/features/preventhp for full version of the above information.