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.
HPV can cause cancers of the:
- Cervix, vagina, and vulva in women
- Penis in men
- Anus in both men and women
- Back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils (oropharynx), in both men and women
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.
|Cancer||Cases in Women||Cases in Men|
|Back of the Throat||2,300||12,500|
Source: How Many Cancers Are Linked with HPV Each Year?
Data as of August 2021
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.
Every year in the United States:
- Nearly 200,000 women are diagnosed with a cervical precancer
- 11,100 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer caused by HPV
- About 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 found 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 also affects men. About 4 out of every 10 cases of cancer caused by HPV occur among men. Every year in the U.S., over 15,000 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.