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Cervical Cancer and the HPV Vaccine

Cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix, but it may be prevented with the HPV vaccine.
Cervical Cancer

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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Comments

Yeliak

Yeliak wrote:

No one mentions the bad side effects from this vaccine. My mom and I made the choice no...
commented: Tue Jul 16, 2013

21inkiepielover
I am!
commented: Mon Jul 15, 2013

Un-thinkableImaginary:3
And people seriously? Be mature about this. Its really important.
commented: Mon Jul 15, 2013

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Dear Dish-It in the forums

AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Family Issues:
When it comes to friends dissing you...why are they dissing you? Did you tell them? If you do decide or have done that, expect some harsh comments. People these days only know what they have ben taught, on both sides of this topic. The thing that you need to remember is, "Are these friends really friends if they are going to diss me?"
reply 29 minutes
AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Family Issues:
Many answers to that one, mate. The question isn't is it, the question is should it. Legally? No Ethically? No Spiritually? Eh...pass. Scientifically? Debatable. It really depends on who you're asking and what you're asking it about. For example, this group says that yes, it is wrong. This group over here, however, says it is not. To what are you referring to?
reply about 1 hour
GottaLoveDance
GottaLoveDance posted in Friends:
"Kirsteeeeen" wrote:Talk to her about it and see if she'll stop. Explain your side of the story. Offer to help her outside of school so she doesn't copy. If she doesn't listen, perhaps give the teacher a heads up. They might be able to work with her so she doesn't have to copy. thanks
reply about 1 hour
Kirsteeeeen
Kirsteeeeen posted in Friends:
Talk to her about it and see if she'll stop. Explain your side of the story. Offer to help her outside of school so she doesn't copy. If she doesn't listen, perhaps give the teacher a heads up. They might be able to work with her so she doesn't have to copy.
reply about 1 hour
Kirsteeeeen
It is definitely not. You are who you are and feel the way you feel.
reply about 1 hour

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