Cervical Cancer Awareness: Importance of HPV Vaccine

Cervical Cancer Awareness: Importance of HPV Vaccine

Cervical Cancer Awareness: Importance of HPV Vaccine

Cervical cancer is caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which is generally transmitted sexually. This infection can affect the skin, genital area and throat. According to recent studies, It is the fourth most common cancer among women globally, contributing for approximately 6-29% of cases in India alone.

What is the cause of Cervical Cancer?

Cervical Cancer is the growth of cells to start in the cervix, the birth canal. It is observed that almost every sexually active person is infected but the immune system clears the HPV from the body. Infections with high risk HPV develop abnormal cells growing into cancer.

  • Cervix, the birth canal, gets infected and causes 95% of cervical cancer.
  • Normally, it requires 15–20 years for abnormal cells to transform into cancer. However, in women with compromised immune systems like untreated HIV, this progression can accelerate, taking only 5–10 years. 

What are the symptoms for Cervical cancer?

It does not show up initially, but as it develops, it causes symptoms such as:

  • Vaginal Bleeding: During Intercourse, periods or after menopause
  • Vaginal Discharge: Watery, heavy with foul odor.
  • Pelvic pain during intercourse

Risk factors of Cervical cancer

  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection
  • Early Marriage
  • Sexually active at younger age
  • Having multiple sexual partners
  • Poor genital hygiene
  • Smoking
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Weakened immune system
  • Malnutrition
  • Prolonged use of Oral Contraceptive Pills (OCPs)

What is the HPV vaccine?

The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common STIs suffering with a ratio of 1:5 men and women. Though it has the power of clearing it by itself, certain cases develop cancers, including cervical cancer. 

The HPV vaccine, which has been available for nearly 2 years, hasn’t been covered worldwide since then. But they started to voice out and promote after the rise of cases worldwide. Claimed to be the most effective vaccine for cervical cancer, WHO recommends that the vaccine be given between the ages of nine and 14 when they are most not sexually active.

How safe is the HPV vaccine?

The vaccine is very safe and highly effective at stopping the HPV strains, which cause 70% of cervical cancer cases. 

  • However, the side effects after vaccination are mild. Soreness, swelling or redness at the injection spot are the most common reactions for this vaccine.
  • In particular cases, they feel dizzy or sometimes faint after the shot. So, officials always recommend sitting or lying down for 15 minutes after the vaccination. 
  • Headaches, nausea, vomiting, fatigue or weakness are also possibilities after the shot.

Who is excluded from the HPV vaccine?

  • Pregnant women are not allowed to take the HPV vaccine.
  • This vaccine is not recommended for people with severe allergic reactions after the first shot.
  • People who are moderately ill should wait until they get better.

How to eliminate Cervical cancer?

To eliminate cervical cancer, every nation must increase vaccine rate to encourage the three fundamental pillars:

  • Vaccination: Ensuring that 90% of girls receive full HPV vaccination by age 15.
  • Screening: Screening 70% of women with high-performance tests by age 35 and again by age 45.
  • Treatment: Treating 90% of women with pre-cancerous conditions and effectively managing 90% of those diagnosed with invasive cancer.

Lotus Hospitals, a promise of care stand by you at every step in the prevention and treatment of cervical cancer, offering comprehensive services including vaccination.

Visit your gynecologist now!

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