There are two types of HPV (Types 16 and 18) that cause about 75% of cervical cancer cases, about 70% of vaginal cancer cases, and about 50% of vulvar cancer cases.
Each day, another 33 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the United States (about 12,000 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, precancers and then cervical cancer can develop.
Two types of HPV cause about 75% 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. To determine if the changes seen on an abnormal Pap test are caused by HPV, your doctor can order an HPV test.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a woman's first Pap test should be at age 21. Be sure to follow a health care professional's recommendation for cervical cancer screenings.
For girls who are not old enough for a Pap test, regular wellness visits are a good way to start lifelong, healthy habits.
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 2,680 cases of vaginal cancer.
HPV Types 16 and 18 cause about 70% of vaginal cancer cases.
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 4,490 cases of vulvar cancer each year. HPV Types 16 and 18 cause up to 50% of vulvar cancer cases.
GARDASIL is the only human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that helps protect against 4 types of HPV. In girls and young women ages 9 to 26, GARDASIL helps protect against 2 types of HPV that cause about 75% of cervical cancer cases, and 2 more types that cause about 90% of genital warts cases. In boys and young men ages 9 to 26, GARDASIL helps protect against approximately 90% of genital warts cases.
GARDASIL also helps protect girls and young women ages 9 to 26 against approximately 70% of vaginal cancer cases and up to 50% of vulvar cancer cases.
GARDASIL may not fully protect everyone, nor will it protect against diseases caused by other HPV types or against diseases not caused by HPV. GARDASIL does not prevent all types of cervical cancer, so it’s important for women to continue routine cervical cancer screenings. GARDASIL does not treat cancer or genital warts. GARDASIL is given as 3 injections over 6 months.
Anyone who is allergic to the ingredients of GARDASIL, including those severely allergic to yeast, should not receive the vaccine. GARDASIL is not for women who are pregnant.
The side effects include pain, swelling, itching, bruising, and redness at the injection site, headache, fever, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and fainting. Fainting can happen after getting GARDASIL. Sometimes people who faint can fall and hurt themselves. For this reason, your child’s health care professional may ask to sit or lie down for 15 minutes after they get GARDASIL. Some people who faint might shake or become stiff. This may require evaluation or treatment by your child’s health care professional.
Only a doctor or health care professional can decide if GARDASIL is right for your child.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.