There are two types of HPV (Types 16 and 18) that cause 70% of cervical cancer cases, about 70% of vaginal cancer cases, about 50% of vulvar cancer cases, and about 80% of anal cancer cases.

  • Cervical Cancer
  • Vaginal & Vulvar Cancers
  • Anal Cancer
Female Genital Diagram

Cervical Cancer:

Each day, another 33 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the United States (about 12,360 women per year). Unlike some other cancers, cervical cancer is not considered to be passed down through family genes. It is caused by certain types of HPV. When a female is infected with these types of HPV, and the virus doesn’t go away on its own, abnormal cells can develop in the lining of the cervix (the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina). If these abnormal cells are not found early through routine cervical cancer screening and treated, precancer and then cervical cancer can develop.

Two types of HPV cause 70% of cervical cancer cases in females.

Having regular Pap tests is the best way to help protect against cervical cancer in the future. A Pap test doesn’t diagnose HPV. But it looks for abnormal cells (that are caused by certain types of HPV) in the lining of the cervix before the cells become precancer. Your doctor can order an HPV test to determine if the changes seen on an abnormal Pap test are caused by HPV.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a woman's first Pap test should be at age 21. Be sure to follow the recommendation for cervical cancer screenings from your child’s health care professional.

For girls who are not old enough for a Pap test, regular wellness visits are a good way to start lifelong, healthy habits.

Female Genital Diagram

Vaginal Cancer:

There are several types of vaginal cancer, but most types are commonly found in the lining of the upper area of the vagina near the cervix.

Each year in the United States, there are approximately 3,000 cases of vaginal cancer.

HPV Types 16 and 18 cause about 70% of vaginal cancer cases.

Vulvar Cancer:

Vulvar cancer is a type of cancer that forms just outside the vagina in an area called the vulva. In the United States, there are about 4,500 cases of vulvar cancer each year. HPV Types 16 and 18 cause up to 50% of vulvar cancer cases.

Anal Cancer:

Anal cancer rates in the United States have been increasing in both males and females. Each day in the United States, 19 men and women are diagnosed with anal cancer (about 7,000 men and women per year).

Anal cancer is cancer of the anus, which is the opening at the lower end of the intestines (bowels).

Most cases of anal cancer are caused by certain types of HPV. These same types of HPV can also cause cervical cancer in females.

Copyright © 2015 Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. All rights reserved.

This site is intended only for residents of the United States, its territories, and Puerto Rico.

VACC-1135311-0000 01/15