HPV & Cervical Cancer Vaccine

What is HPV?

HPV (human papillomavirus) is a collection of more than 150 viruses. Not all HPV strains can and will cause cancer. However, while some of those strains can cause skin warts, some cause genital warts, some can also cause changes in cells that can develop into cervical cancer and cancers that affect the sides of the throat, tonsils, and base of the tongue.

Does HPV Have Any Symptoms?

There are potential health problems associated with HPV, such as genital warts and cervical cancer. However, most people don?t develop any easily identifiable symptoms from an HPV infection. Testing can help detect those with the HPV virus. Women are also encouraged to have regular smear tests and current smear testing focuses on identifying the existence of the HPV virus.


Does HPV only affect women?

No, men can also contract an HPV infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at some point in their lives, both sexually active men and women will have at least one HPV infection.


Can I only contract HPV if I Have Sex?

HPV is spread via contact with the skin, so there is a risk of contracting HPV if you are sexually active. Using condoms can lower your risk of contracting HPV. However, it is still possible to contract HPV using a condom. HPV can also be transmitted during oral sex and you don?t just get HPV by having sexual intercourse.


Are Treatment Options Available for HPV?

Currently there is no actual treatments available for HPC. However, Cancers caused by HPV such as precancerous lesions, cancers, and genital warts, which are caused by HPV infections can be treated. While there is no actual treatment for HPV, there is a vaccination. This is currently only available via the NHS to girls between 12 and 18. There are also plans for the vaccine to made available to boys later this year. For those outside the vaccine schedule, the vaccine is available privately.


What is cervical cancer?

The human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause Cervical Cancer that affects the entrance to the womb which is called the Cervix. The virus is spread from one person to another during sexual activity. There a 13 types of HPV known to cause Cervical Cancer out of the 100 different types, out of those 13 types, just two of them cause over 70% of the cases. These two types are 16 and 18.


How does the virus cause cancer?

The virus causes the cancer through damaging cells in the cervix. Initially the virus gets into the surface cells of the Cervix where it can reside for several years without causing any damage. The virus can then for no apparent reason, unexpectedly start to harm the cells. The reason for cervical screenings is to detect the changes early. If detected early enough they can be treated to prevent the development of cancer. If they are left untreated, the cancer may develop and could lead to severe illness and ultimately death.


The HPV Vaccine

The HPV Vaccine is indicated for those aged 9 through 26 years, for the prevention of cervical, vulvar, vaginal, and anal cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) Types 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58, precancerous or dysplastic lesions caused by HPV Types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58, and genital warts caused by HPV Types 6 and 11.


The HPV vaccine helps protect against:


Cervical cancer Vulvar and vaginal cancers Anal cancer Precancerous cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal lesions Genital warts

Is the vaccine available on the NHS?

All girls can get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine free from the NHS from the age of 12 up to their 18th birthday. In England, girls aged 12 to 13 years are routinely offered the first HPV vaccination when they're in school year 8. The second dose is normally offered 6 to 12 months after the first (in school year 8 or year 9).

Vaccinating girls indirectly helps protect boys against these types of cancer and genital warts because vaccinated girls will not pass HPV on to them. This is known as herd protection. The number of genital wart infections in the UK has already fallen in both girls and boys because of the girls' vaccination programme.

Men who have sex with men (MSM) do not benefit in the same way from the girls' programme, so may be left unprotected from HPV. From April 2018, MSM up to and including the age of 45 became eligible for free HPV vaccination on the NHS when they visit sexual health clinics and HIV clinics in England.

From the 2019-20 school year, it's expected that 12- to 13-year-old boys will also become eligible for the HPV vaccine. The first dose of the HPV vaccine will be offered routinely to boys aged 12 and 13 in year 8, in the same way that it's currently offered to girls.


Is the HPV vaccine available privately?

Yes, IGP provide the HPV vaccine privateley to girls/women and boys/men who fall outside of the NHS vaccine schedule.


Changes to the HPV Vaccination programme.

The original HPV vaccine has recently been replaced by a newer version of the vaccine . Those who started with the original HPV vaccine should continue with this vaccine as it may not be compatible with the new one. The new vaccine should be administered then again at, 2 months and 6 months.

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How long does the vaccine protection last for?


Studies are in place to measure the long-term protection. If a booster dose of the vaccine is necessary later in life then the person will be informed about this. Studies suggest that vaccinated people maintain high levels of protection for at least seven years, and it is expected to last many years.

Ready To Make An Appointment?

Please contact us for more information or to book an appointment at any one of our occupational health clinics.

Do You Have Any Questions?

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