Cervical Cancer is the most common cancer in Indian women and the second most common cancer among women worldwide. While there are different ways of preventing cervical cancer, vaccination is considered the most effective. HPV vaccines are one of the most significant advances in the fight against cervical cancer. We, at Apollo Clinic, pride ourselves in joining this fight by providing cervical cancer vaccination.
What is HPV and how is it related to Cervical Cancer?
HPV refers to a group of viruses called human papillomavirus. HPV is transmitted through skin-to-skin sexual contact. This includes anal, vaginal and sometimes oral sex. HPV can be transmitted even if it has been years since he or she has had sex. Certain strains of HPV cause cervical cancer.
What is a Cervical Cancer vaccine and who should get it?
Gardasil vaccine is one of the most commonly used to protect against cervical cancer. It protects against two HPV strains which are responsible for 70% of cervical cancers. To completely benefit from the cervical cancer vaccine, you need to receive it before you are infected with any HPV strains included in the vaccine. The recommended age for Gardasil vaccination is 11-12 years. It is also recommended for girls and women aged 13-26 who have not yet been vaccinated or completed the vaccination course. The response to cervical cancer vaccine is better at younger ages than older. Ideally, females should receive the cervical cancer vaccination before becoming sexually active and exposed to HPV. Females who are sexually active also stand to benefit from the vaccine, but not as much.
How is the Cervical Cancer vaccination given?
The cervical cancer vaccination is scheduled over a 6-24-month period and 2 injections are given. Currently, the vaccine is effective for 8-10 years; it could even last longer. Studies are still being conducted on the long-term effectiveness and the need for a booster. Cervical cancer vaccines are safe and do not cause any side-effects. There may be minor side-effects such as pain, swelling, soreness or redness at the site of infection. Sometimes dizziness or fainting occurs after the injection. Remaining seated for about 15 minutes after the injection helps to reduce the risk of fainting.
How does the Cervical Cancer vaccine work?
Cervical cancer vaccines work like other immunisation that guard against viral infections. They stimulate the body to produce antibodies that, in future encounters with HPV, bind to the virus and prevent it from infecting the cells.
At Apollo Clinic, your health is always our top priority. Widespread vaccination has the potential to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer in the country. Cervical cancer vaccination helps in reducing the need for biopsies, invasive procedures and medical care thus reducing healthcare expense and related anxieties. Given all these benefits, our doctors at Apollo Clinic strongly recommend cervical cancer vaccines.