All women are at risk for cervical cancer, and each year, there are more than more than 12,000 cases of cervical cancer in
the U.S. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer. Fortunately,
cervical cancer is highly preventable, through screening, and getting HPV vaccine.
When cervical cancer is found early, it is highly treatable, with a shorter
duration of treatment and higher rates of survival.
The CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics
recommend HPV vaccination for both girls and boys starting at age 11 or 12. The
HPV vaccine prevents infection and disease caused by nine HPV types, including
seven types that cause cervical and other cancers1.
Women ages 21-65 are recommended to get
screened for cervical cancer every 3 years with a Pap test, and every 5 years
with HPV testing. If you would like to learn more about HPV and cervical
cancer, please see below for more information, or visit CDC website, or the
Maryland Breast and Cervical Cancer Program.
Whether you are a parent, healthcare
professional, or a member of the general public, this month – Cervical Cancer
Awareness Month, talk to your child’s healthcare provider about HPV vaccine,
get tested, and/or learn more about cervical cancer.
HPV is a very common and widespread virus, consisting of more than 150 related viruses. Nearly everyone will be infected in their lifetime. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 90% of sexually active men and 80% of sexually active women will be infected with at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives. Around one-half of these infections are with a high-risk HPV type.1
Most high-risk HPV infections occur without any symptoms, go away within 1 to 2 years, and do not cause cancer. Some HPV infections, however, can persist for many years. Persistent infections with high-risk HPV types can lead to cell changes that, if untreated, may progress to cancer.2
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