Cervical Cancer Vaccine

Cervical Cancer Vaccine

Cancer prevention just a prick away!
Cervical cancer is one of the commonest cancers among females. But thankfully, there are effective ways to prevent it through regular Pap smear tests and vaccination against HPV (human papilloma virus). Not all but most cervical cancers are caused by HPV as a sexually transmitted infection in majority of the cases, although that is not the only mode of transmission.

Who needs it and at what age?

Ideally, it should be given to pre-sexually active girls/females. T he vaccine is most effective when given to girls and young women. In absence of a sexually transmitted virus, the vaccine works better and gives total protection against the 4 sub types of HPV viruses. Once infected with HPV, the vaccine may not prove to be as effective. Doctors recommend it for females between the ages of 9-26 years of age.

Vaccine dosage and schedule

The vaccine can be given in three shots at intervals of 0-2-6 months. For example, if the first shot is given in January, second will be given in March and the third one in the month of June.

It is believed to remain effective for at least five years.

Cervical vaccine is no substitute for Pap smear test

The cervical cancer vaccine is not intended to replace Pap smear test, which is done to detect and screen for cervical cancer. Routine screening for cervical cancer through Pap tests and pelvic exam remains a vital part of a woman’s preventive healthcare.

Preventive measures for cervical cancer along with vaccine

  • Always use a condom for a sexual act
  • Limit number of sexual partners
  • Don’t smoke as it doubles the risk of cervical cancer
  • Take regular Pap smear tests