Cancers Caused by HPV

HPV infections can cause certain cancers in men and women. Talk to your child’s doctor about getting HPV vaccine to prevent HPV infections.

Infographic: HPV vaccination is the best protection against 6 types of cancer.

HPV can cause cancers of the:

Cancer usually takes years, even decades, to develop after a person gets HPV. There is no way to know who will develop cancer or other health problems from HPV.

  • People with weakened immune systems (like people living with HIV/AIDS) may be less able to fight off (clear) HPV infections, and more likely to develop health problems caused by HPV.

HPV vaccination can prevent over 90% of cancers caused by HPV, as well as anal, vaginal, cervical, and vulvar precancers (abnormal cells that can lead to cancer).

That’s why HPV vaccines work best when given at age 11–12 years, before contact with the HPV virus.

Number of Cancers Caused by HPV in the United States Each Year
Cancer Cases in Women Cases in Men
Back of the Throat 2,200 11,800
Cervical 11,000 0
Anus 4,400 2,100
Vulva 2,800 0
Penis 0 900
Vagina 700 0
Total 21,100 14,800

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

Cervical cancer and HPV

More than 9 of every 10 cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV. Almost all cervical cancer can be prevented by HPV vaccination.

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 diagnosed with a cervical precancer
  • 11,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer caused by HPV
  • Over 4,000 women die from cervical cancer

Cervical cancer was once the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States. HPV vaccines and cervical cancer screening have made it one of the most preventable cancers. Even women who are vaccinated should still get regular cervical cancer screening starting at age 21 years.

Cervical cancer is the only type of cancer caused by HPV that can be detected early by a recommended screening test. The other types of cancer caused by HPV may not be detected until they cause more serious health problems. HPV vaccination prevents infections that cause these cancers.

Vaccinating boys can prevent cancers caused by HPV in men

HPV doesn’t only affect women. More than 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. You can protect your child from these cancers with HPV vaccine at age 11–12 years. Talk to your child’s doctor about HPV vaccination.

Related Resources

Page last reviewed: July 23, 2021