Why is HPV Vaccine Important?
Every year in the United States, 31,000 women and men are diagnosed with a cancer caused by HPV infection. Most of these cancers could be prevented by HPV vaccination.
HPV vaccination prevents more than just cervical cancer. Vaccination can prevent uncomfortable testing and treatment even for cervical precancers. Each year in the U.S. more than 300,000 women endure invasive testing and treatment for lesions (changes in the cells) on the cervix that can develop into cancers. Testing and treatment for these “precancers” can have lasting effects.
However cervical cancer only accounts for 1 in 3 cancers caused by HPV infection. While there is screening for cervical cancer, there is no routine screening for the other 20,000 cancers caused by HPV infections each year in the United States. Often these cancers—such as cancers of the back of the throat (oropharynx) and cancers of the anus/rectum—aren't detected until later stages when they are difficult to treat.
Below are multiple ways that you can hear firsthand what it's like to be a survivor of HPV cancer, a family member of someone struggling with HPV infection, or a provider that has seen the lasting effects of HPV.
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- Page last reviewed: March 10, 2017
- Page last updated: March 10, 2017
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