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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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Will You Get the HPV Vaccine?

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Dear Dish-It In The Forums

GirLovesPiggy
GirLovesPiggy posted in Style:
This thread has been moved. Click here to see the new thread.
reply 3 days
drowning
drowning posted in Family Issues:
@rainbowpoptart  When I originally talked to my father, I was given the opportunity of good timing to bring it up. Luckily, there was no anger like I was partially expecting and I remained calm, which I definitely wasn't expecting. My fathers main concern was just worry and having seen other teens run away from something later getting themselves in trouble. He even brought up how he had run off at 18 and joined the Air Force, which I already knew. But, with this round, there is no perfect time to bring it up and he's always busy or we're having to do something so it's just very frustrating to find at least alright timing to bring it up, if that makes sense.
reply 7 days
rainbowpoptart
My advice on this may not be the best because I haven't personally dealt with this yet, but... Parents, or guardians, get used to having their children around. You're [usually] with them for 18 years, which is a long time, so of course they - or in this case, your father - is going to feel like he's lost something very dear to him once you move out. To me it seems like he does truly understand that you're growing up. He just doesn't want it to happen. He knows that you're leaving soon - he just doesn't want it to be soon. Parents/guardians who are close to the children usually feel that way. If you're really so concerned, talk to him about it again, in a similar way you have done already. Or perhaps just a "Wow, my birthday is just around the corner". Once you do move out, visit him as frequently as you're able to and feel like. I'm sure he'll appreciate it, and it'll help you maintain a close relationship with him.
reply 7 days
drowning
drowning posted in Family Issues:
Usually I wouldn't come here for advice, but I am really needing it. To sum it up, my birthday is in 21 days. Not only will I be leaving KW, but home as well. My mother has made it to where I have had plans to leave since I was around 11 or 12; so about 7 to 8 years. I won't get into everything, but we'll just say that my mother and I do not have a good relationship at all. My father on the other hand, I am very attached too and always scared of upsetting him. Things are not always very good between us at times, but we rarely fight. When we do, it is always bad nor ends well. So, having plans to move out are very scary to me and causes me plenty of anxiety that fights are going to break out when I have my help to get my belongings out.   For the record, I have talked to my father about leaving, why I want too, etc. But, more in the sense of that I want too, not that I am. Which, in a way, my parents understand I'm moving out as well as already pretty much know where I'm going without my mention. But, I don't think they, my father especially, understands how soon that is despite my saying of I want too when I'm 18 or when I say, "Soon." It doesn't help that my father told another that his "little girl is growing up" on him and that he is scared of the day I go because he will be alone. Which makes me feel guilty despite the fact I won't even be that far away. How should I talk to him once more and go about this or even when? I really want him to understand that I have thought everything through and that I will be in safe hands.
reply 7 days
-Oracle-
-Oracle- posted in Friends:
Preferably non human.
reply 8 days