HPV Vaccine/Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is caused by several types of a virus called human papillomaviruses (HPV). The virus spreads through sexual contact. Most women's bodies are able to fight HPV infection. But sometimes the virus leads to cancer. You are at higher risk if you smoke, have many children, use birth control pills for a long time, or have HIV infection.
Cervical cancer may not cause any symptoms at first, but later, you may have pelvic pain or bleeding from the vagina. It usually takes several years for normal cells in the cervix to turn into cancer cells. Your health care provider can find abnormal cells by doing a Pap test - examining cells from the cervix under a microscope. By getting regular Pap tests and pelvic exams you can find and treat changing cells before they turn into cancer.
A vaccine for girls and young women protects against the four types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers. The HPV vaccine protects against infection by certain strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV) that can cause cervical cancer and genital warts. Almost all cervical cancers are caused by HPV. HPV vaccination is expected to prevent about 70% of cervical cancer cases.
Source: NIH: National Cancer Institute
Key Point 1
There are certain types of human papillomavirus that are spread through sexual contact, and can lead to cervical cancer. There is a vaccine for HPV, but it is only effective in 70% of cases.
Key Point 2
As with any medical decision, open and honest communication between you (the patient) and your healthcare provider is critical to making decisions that are right for you. Healthcare is a partnership, and patients need to get all the information they want and need before making a decision.
Conduct an off-site search for HPV Vaccine and Cervical Cancer from MedlinePlus. These up-to-date search results are based on search terms specific to Second Opinion Key Points.
There are a very large number of organizations dedicated to helping people with or who know someone with HPV and/or cervical cancer. This is only a partial list.
American Cancer Society: Together with our millions of supporters, the American Cancer Society (ACS) saves lives and creates a world with less cancer and more birthdays by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): For over 60 years, CDC has been dedicated to protecting health and promoting quality of life through the prevention and control of disease, injury, and disability.
National Cancer Institute: The National Cancer Institute coordinates the National Cancer Program, which conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients.