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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

bffeaea
bffeaea posted in Friends:
I don't know you and I'm not exactly sure how you act, but being friendly is definitely the way to go. Don't change yourself for ANYBODY. Especially someone who you don't need to impress. Speaking of impressing, don't try, do. If you are telling a story and that happens to impress them than that's great! But don't go out of your way to try to make yourself look awesome because I'm sure you already are. Be yourself. But the most important thug now you can do is not try to make a million friends. Because personally I would rather have one AWESOME friend than a million ok friends. I hope this helped. :)
reply about 6 hours
HoneyHamstern
HoneyHamstern posted in Friends:
Be yourself and most important of all, be kind. You will get great friends by doing so. Being popular doesn't always mean being nice; sometimes people tend to be rude and bossy to be "popular" and that isn't good. But if you participate or even start a group at school, at the library or somewhere important in the community (community service like the Rotary Club is a good way to start for kids and teens) can be a great way to meet friends and share your happiness.
reply about 7 hours
esthery27
"f3rr3tgal" wrote:dear dish-it,        I absolutely love my family but... my dad has these headaches  where if they are really bad i can not say anything right he will get really mad. i don't know what to do i really hate being yelled at by my  dad and i love him soo much !!!! what do i do?  [s:sm3/1jvp]                                                       thanks,                                                            f3rr3tgal Tell him that you love him and you understand he's suffering but you really don't like it when he yells at you. You can write a note or a card to him. I'm sure he'll understand. And of course if needed see a doctor so that he'll know what to do to deal with those headaches.
reply about 7 hours
esthery27
esthery27 posted in Friends:
You won't want to be, it's exhausting. Just be happy the way you are and don't care about what others think or say about you.
reply about 8 hours
GiddyUpGecko
GiddyUpGecko posted in Friends:
What if you just aren't populr, and you want to be???  :(
reply about 21 hours