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Cervical Cancer and the HPV Vaccine

You may have seen HPV ads during commercial breaks of Hannah Montana and Gossip Girl. But what exactly is HPV? And how is it linked to cervical cancer? Find out about it right here.

What Is Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. Cervical cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women worldwide, and the eighth most common in the US. Even though statistics are high, you could have cervical cancer and not even know it because sometimes there are no symptoms. But possible signs include vaginal discharge and vaginal bleeding, even when you don't have your period.

What Causes Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer is often caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). There are over 100 types of HPV, but most of them are pretty harmless, like the viruses that cause warts on your hands and feet. But about 40 types of HPV are sexually transmitted and affect the genitals, which can cause genital warts and even cervical cancer. If you think you have genital warts, see your doctor right away. The doctor will perform a gynecological exam called a Pap smear, which takes a swab of cells from the cervix to check for any abnormalities. It's a good idea to get a Pap smear every year after you become sexually active or turn 21, whichever comes first.

Who Gets the HPV Vaccine?

On June 8, 2006, the FDA approved the world's first vaccine against cervical cancer. Gardasil, which protects against four types of HPV, is recommended for girls aged nine to 26 before they become sexually active. But the vaccine won't protect you against all the different types of HPV, so it's important to continue to get checked by your doctor often and get annual Pap tests.

Did U Know?

  • The HPV vaccine is pretty expensive. It costs $360 US for three shots over a six month period.
  • January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, a time to bring awareness to a disease that's more common than people think.
  • A.J., who was a contestant on the seventh season of America's Next Top Model, is a survivor of cervical cancer.
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Dear Dish-It in the forums

Kirsteeeeen
Kirsteeeeen posted in Friends:
"sparkly_chick" wrote: I keep saying stupid things and messing up with my friends and now they hate me. /.\ Don't say "they don't deserve you" or something, because I don't deserve them. They're great friends and I'm just... stupid. I'm sorry dear but things do get better and its not your fault. Everyone messes up, its just a part a life. If you need to talk and explain to me with more info you can, I'm here. :)    ^^This. You're not stupid either. Everybody makes mistakes and messes things up.
reply about 3 hours
Kirsteeeeen
Don't make your mom get irritated or she might start abusing you too. Talk to a counselor at school or something and figure out a way, like living with a relative or something. A counsellor is a good idea but talking to your mom is more important. She's your guardian. Don't worry about irritating her, tell her how you feel. Communication is important and the fear of getting abused should never ever get in between your relationship unless it's a previous factor in that relationship (not one with someone else). You have a right to tell her how you feel and have a discussion with her about it. I'm sure you can come to some sort of understanding. And if not, then maybe talk to someone outside the family. But don't go behind her back and talk to someone else about it unless it's 100% necessary for your family. She needs to know how you feel.
reply about 3 hours
Kirsteeeeen
I know it must feel awful. But you have to remember that your parents still love you, they just don't have time to show it sometimes. Autism requires a lot of work, attention, and support. Unfortunately that's a sacrifice you make for family. Sometimes you have to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. They're doing this for the family.
reply about 3 hours
Kirsteeeeen
Kirsteeeeen posted in Style:
Just go to hottopic get too many band t-shirts and a homestuck t-shirt put on black pants and cardigan and anime character shoes and the end  My life.
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Kirsteeeeen
Kirsteeeeen posted in Style:
Why not both? :p
reply about 3 hours

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