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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

AimeeJury
AimeeJury posted in Style:
i'm ginger sadly i had brown hair when i was born though
reply about 6 hours
6thBeatle
6thBeatle posted in Style:
Black. I'm a Filipino.
reply about 7 hours
6thBeatle
Don't worry too, you'll grow up too and live on your own, I noticed that my aunt is unfair to children (except to her child) and I can't wait to be an adult (she's afraid to adults). And when you grow up, don't make revenge to your parents, I know that you still love them. Trust me, things would get worse if you make revenge.
reply about 7 hours
6thBeatle
I understand you, but those things are worse than my experience. I am a very lonely nerd and I don't have friends. When my mom goes to work she leaves me with my unfair aunt. My aunt is so unfair, she always blames me and ignores my explanations, she always defends my 5 year old cousin even though she's wrong. She's so unfair I wanted to drink bleach or hang myself but I realized that there are more people who love me. When I was months old or maybe 1 year old my dad broke up with my mom because our family doesn't like him because he hurts my mom physically, called my grandpa a liar even though my dad knows how honest he is, and he always blamed things on me when I was a baby. I met him a month ago (maybe), and we were supposed to talk about important thing like if why he left me and other stuff like that, but instead he boasted about being the best pilot in the airport, he did nothing but boast. I never want to meet him again. My problem with my mom is that she hurts me horribly like jumping on my back, and she says hurtful things like she wanted me to die and that she loves her boyfriend (who is a jerk) more than me. I have to admit, I'm the one who started the mess, but that's no way to discipline your child. I apologized to her, but she is still pulling my hair. After we relaxed for about 40 minutes, she apologized. That's it, but my mom is really hard working and is very patient to me (but when it's too much, she gets crazy). There's always a good side of someone. I hope that there are more of your relatives and friends who love you, my advice is to write a letter to your parents, and if it didn't work well, you could always talk to the guidance in your school or your teacher, that's the only one I could think of.
reply about 7 hours
QveenAvi
QveenAvi posted in Family Issues:
The way they are doing it is wrong,however it sounds like your parents really love you and really want the best for you. they have faith in you. when you get a 3 if they know that you can get a 4 so they address you want it. not that they don't love you.Your parents were the ones who raised you and introduced you to this life so you should always respect them and think them as your god.
reply about 17 hours