Human papillomavirus — more commonly known as HPV — is stubborn.
It has been around for a long time, and it’s learned to evolve as humans have evolved.
And there’s not just one HPV. There are more than 200 related viruses and those are just the ones that infect humans. Of those, approximately a dozen can infect the mucosa (the moist parts of our body) and cause diseases including cancer.
Cervical cancer and head and neck cancer are two of the most common types of HPV-related cancers. While there is an FDA-approved screening for cervical cancer (get that Pap smear, ladies!), there isn’t one yet for head-and-neck cancer. So, prevention before infection is key. And that can be easily accomplished with HPV vaccines. When administered prior to any contact with HPV, they can prevent more than 90 percent of HPV-related cancers — including those affecting the head and neck, cervix, anus, vulva, penis and vagina.
HPV vaccines and screenings put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to protecting your health. HPV might be stubborn. But it’s also preventable.