HPV Diseases and Cancers

HPV infections can lead to certain to certain types of cancer in men and women. Whether you have a son or daughter, talk to your child’s doctor about the HPV vaccine to prevent these cancers.

6 types of cancer caused by HPV

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HPV can cause cancers of the:

Cancer often takes years, even decades, to develop after a person gets HPV. CDC recommends HPV vaccination at ages 11–12 to protect against these cancers.

There is no way to know which people who have HPV will develop cancer or other health problems. People with weakened immune systems (including individuals with HIV/AIDS) may be less able to fight off HPV and more likely to develop health problems from it.

Smiling family sitting with doctor

6 types of cancers caused by HPV
Cases in Women Cases in Men
Back of Throat 2,200 11,800
Cervical 11,000 0
Anal 4,400 2,100
Vulvar 2,800 0
Penile 0 900
Vaginal 700 0
Total 21,100 14,800

Source: How Many Cancers Are Linked with HPV Each Year?
Data as of August 2020

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HPV vaccination can prevent over 90% of HPV cancers.

Cervical cancer and HPV

More than 9 of every 10 cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV. Cervical cancer can be largely prevented by the HPV vaccine.

Illustration showing 3 circles with data within each. First circle: 300,000 cervical precancer cases. Second circle: 11,000 cervical cancer cases. Third circle: 4,000 deaths.

Every year in the United States:

  • Nearly 200,000 women are estimated to be diagnosed with a cervical precancer, or abnormal cells on the cervix that can lead to cancer.
  • Nearly 11,000 cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV
  • Over 4,000 women die from the disease

Cervical cancer was once the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the U.S. The HPV vaccine and cervical cancer screening have made it one of the most preventable cancers. Even women who have received the HPV vaccine should get regular cervical cancer screening starting at age 21.

Screening alone won’t protect from most HPV cancers

Cervical cancer is the only type of HPV cancer with a recommended screening test. The other types of HPV cancer may not be detected until they cause health problems. HPV vaccination helps prevent these cancers by preventing infections that cause these cancers.

Boys can develop HPV cancers as adults

HPV doesn’t only affect women. Nearly 4 out of every 10 cases of cancer caused by HPV occur among men.

Every year in the U.S., over 14,000 men get cancers caused by HPV. Whether you have a son or daughter, talk to your child’s doctor about the HPV vaccine.

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Page last reviewed: April 29, 2019