A message of hope sent using a Cervical Cancer ribbon as part of awareness efforts on the illness.
A message of hope sent using a Cervical Cancer ribbon as part of awareness efforts on the illness.

Did you know that Cervical cancer can be prevented? The Cervical cancer prevention week is running from January 18th to 24th.

It is an opportunity to raise awareness on the risks of Cervical cancer, and help women and people with cervixes learn about how to reduce these risks and prevent the illness.

Most cervical cancers are associated with human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection. Widespread immunization with the HPV vaccine could reduce the impact of cervical cancer worldwide. 

The HPV vaccine can prevent most cases of Cervical cancer if given before a girl or woman is exposed to the virus. In addition, this vaccine can prevent vaginal and vulvar cancer in women, and can prevent genital warts and anal cancer in both women and men.

Vaccinating boys against the types of HPV associated with Cervical cancer might also help protect girls from the virus by possibly decreasing transmission.

A person holding the Cervical Cancer awareness ribbon

Certain types of HPV have also been linked to cancers in the mouth and throat, so the HPV vaccine likely offers some protection against these cancers, too.

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The HPV vaccine is routinely recommended for girls and boys ages of 11 or 12, although it can be given as early as the age of 9.

It is ideal for girls and boys to receive the vaccine before they have sexual contact and are exposed to HPV. Research has shown that receiving the vaccine at a young age isn’t linked to an earlier start of sexual activity.

Once someone is infected with HPV, the vaccine might not be as effective or might even not work at all. Also, response to the vaccine is better at younger ages than it is at older ages.

Overall, the effects are usually mild. The most common side effects of HPV vaccines include soreness, swelling or redness at the injection site. Sometimes dizziness or fainting occurs after the injection. Remaining seated for 15 minutes after the injection can reduce the risk of fainting.

In addition, headaches, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, or weakness also may occur.

Severe side effects, or adverse events, are uncommonly reported and have included; blood clots, seizures, chronic inflammatory chronic fatigue syndrome and, in worst case scenarios, death.

HPV spreads through sexual contact – oral, vaginal, or anal. To protect yourself from HPV, use a condom every time you have sex. In addition, don’t smoke, as it increases the chances of getting cervical cancer

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