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Why is HPV Vaccine Important?

Infographic: current screening isn't enough to prevent most HPV cancers

Cervical cancer is just the tip of the iceberg. See more.

Every year in the United States, 32,500 women and men are diagnosed with a cancer caused by HPV infection. HPV vaccination could prevent most of these cancers from ever developing.

HPV vaccination prevents more than just cervical cancer. Vaccination can prevent uncomfortable testing and treatment, even for cervical precancers. Every year in the United States, nearly 500,000 women are diagnosed with low grade cervical precancers, and more than 200,000 women are diagnosed with high grade cervical lesions. Testing and treatment for these precancers can have lasting effects.

Additionally, cervical cancer only accounts for 1 in 3 cancers caused by HPV infection. While doctors routinely screen for cervical cancer, there are no recommended cancer screening tests for the other 20,000 cases of 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 you can learn more about HPV cancers and 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.

The American Cancer Society’s Survivor Videos
HPV-related cancer survivors have a unique voice. Watch them share their stories with these13 powerful videos.
Someone You Love Documentary
Someone You Love: The HPV Epidemic” is a feature length in-depth documentary narrated by Vanessa Williams on the HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS (HPV) and the stories of struggle, tragedy and triumph surrounding this complicated and often misunderstood infection.
CDC’s Clinician Engagement Initiative Webinar
This recorded webinar series features important updates and resources on a variety of topics related to increasing uptake of the vaccines routinely recommended for preteens and teens.
Getting Survivor Speakers in Your Area
HPV-related cancer survivors have a unique voice, and inviting a survivor to tell his or her story at a meeting, grand rounds, conference, or other event can be powerful.
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