How to Protect Yourself Against HPV & Cervical Cancer
Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV (human papillomavirus). Thankfully, it’s very easy to protect yourself and your family members against this infection – all you need to do is get vaccinated!
Even if you or other members of your family aren’t specifically at risk of cervical cancer, it’s still worth vaccinating yourself against HPV due to the health risks associated with the virus.
If you’re a parent of a pre-teen, make sure they get vaccinated at age 11 or 12. Young adults can still get the vaccine up until they’re 26 years old.
If you’re over 26 or already have HPV, don’t worry! About 79 million Americans (about 1 in 4) currently have HPV, and many don’t experience any symptoms or even know they have the virus. It’s very common and nothing to be ashamed of! Cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests and follow-up care.
GLFHC recommends regular cervical cancer screenings starting at age 21, but it’s never too late to get started. Ask your doctor or another member of your care team about getting screened the next time you visit!