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Answered by: Dr Sri Viknarajan
Hi doctor, is it true HPV vaccine can prevents cancer? What kind of cancer it prevents? Is this vaccine safe?
Hi there! Thank you for your question. Yes, HPV vaccines prevent cervical cancer. HPV stands for Human Papillomavirus. Usually HPV is harmless but occasionally it can become genital warts or cervical cancer. It can cause changes in the cells. HPV is the most commonly spread through sexual contact. There are many types of HPV infection.
The common types associated with cancer are types 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56 and 58. Type 16 and 18 are the most common types for cancer and type 6 and 11 are most common for genital warts. Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women. For your second question regarding the safety of the vaccine, yes, there are many studies that shows that the vaccine is safe.
The most common side effect is temporary redness and pain at the injection site. This vaccine is deemed controversial by some because it is preventing a sexually transmitted disease and it is thought to be inappropriate for children. This is absolutely false. Vaccinating young girls before the initiation of sexual activity is an important primary prevention intervention meaning it works best if you get it long before any sexual activity.
It’s a good idea toget the vaccine when you are young so that in the future there won’t be any worries about cervical cancer. Studies also have shown that the HPV vaccine doesn’t encourage more sexual activity or sexual activity at a younger age. All this vaccine does is it protects them from HPV and significantly reduce the risk of genital warts and cervical cancer in adulthood.
HPV vaccines does not provide protection against someone who is already been infected. There are different managements for the treatment of that. However, a person who has had HPV may still benefit from the vaccine because most people are not infected with all the types of HPV contained in the vaccine, meaning it can protect you from getting other types of HPV.There are 2 HPV vaccines in Malaysia which are Gardasil (protect against type 6, 11, 16, 18) and Cervirax (protect against type 16 and 18).
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