HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS VACCINATION (HPV)
Human papillomavirus is a very common virus that can lead to cancer.
About 3 in 4 sexually active Canadians will have at least one HPV infection during their lifetime. Many people who have HPV don’t even realize it because the virus often has no signs or symptoms – which mean that they can pass on the virus to others without knowing it.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection and is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives. There are many different types of HPV and there are vaccines that can prevent them. HPV vaccine provides safe, effective, and lasting protection against the HPV infections that most commonly cause cancer.
WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT HPV?
Cancer and genital warts – need we say more?
If you haven't heard that certain cancers and diseases are caused by some types of HPV, it’s time you did. For most, HPV (or human papillomavirus) clears on its own. But for others who don't clear the virus, it can cause potentially serious diseases.
- Cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix, the lower part of the uterus connected to the vagina.
- Vaginal cancer often shows no symptoms in the early stages.
- Vulvar cancer usually forms slowly over many years, with pre-cancerous changes often occurring first in the surface layer of the vulvar skin.
- Anal cancer, or cancer of the anus, is rare but increasing. The HPV type most commonly associated with anal cancer is HPV 16.
- Penile cancer, or cancer of the penis, is a more rare type of cancer that represents less than one percent of cancers in men.
Men & women:
- Genital warts are usually the only visible sign that someone has been infected with HPV.