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Cervical Cancer Vaccine: When Should You Go For It

The HPV Vaccine has 90% success rate and will prevent most cases of cervical cancer.
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Cervical Cancer is the second most common type of cancer among Indian women. Several women lose their lives to this disease which is completely preventable. The HPV Vaccine for Cervical Cancer is easily available and is the most effective way of protecting yourself from Cervical Cancer. However, the rate of vaccination in India is quite low and there is a need for awareness regarding the HPV Vaccine.

What Is Cervical Cancer?

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It is a cancer that occurs in the neck of the womb called “Cervix”. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina of a woman. Cervical cancer takes years to progress and hence is curable if picked up at early stages.

HPV Vaccine For Cervical Cancer

Dr Teena Thomas, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals Sarjapur, Bangalore says, “Most Cervical Cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) which is a sexually transmitted virus. Though it should be noted that not all forms of the HPV will cause Cervical Cancer. Majority of the Cervical cancer cases are caused by HPV 16 and HPV 18.”

The HPV Vaccine has a 90% success rate and will prevent most cases of cervical cancer. In addition to this the vaccine will also protect a person from vaginal, vulvar, mouth, throat, and neck cancers. 

Who Can Opt For The Vaccine And When Should You Take It?

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Dr Teena Thomas tells us who can opt for the vaccine and when should you take it. The vaccine is available for both men and women. However, since the cases of cervical cancer are predominantly found in women, it is essential that girls are vaccinated from a young age before they are exposed to the virus. The vaccine should ideally be taken before the girl becomes sexually active. It can be taken by females aged between 9 to 26. (Older women can opt for it after a consultation with their gynaecologist) 

The number of doses required will differ with age as follows:

For girls aged between 9 to 15 years: The vaccine will be given in two doses over a period of six months.

For girls older than 15: The vaccine will be given as a three-dose regimen over a period of six months.

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Are There Any Side Effects?

The HPV Vaccine has no serious or long-term side effects. It is just like any other immunisation vaccine. It may cause a bit of soreness on the site of the injection. You may feel slight dizziness, nausea or fever. But other than these, you will be completely fine. The person just needs to rest for fifteen to twenty minutes after taking the dose.

Why Vaccination Is Crucial For Indian Women?

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The occurrence of cervical cancer cases in Indian women is quite high. This is majorly due to lack of regular screening and PAP smear tests. Most women in a developing country like ours do not have access to regular screening facilities. Hence many remain unaware that they have been infected. Cervical Cancer symptoms sometimes may not be apparent and once the symptoms are visible and the cancer is diagnosed, it could be too late.

Therefore, it is highly important that we start vaccinating our girls and women and protect them from a completely preventable disease.

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Other Methods Of Prevention Of Cervical Cancer

While the vaccine is one of the most effective measures of preventing cervical cancer, there are some other steps that can be taken for prevention like

  • Regular Screening and Pap Smear tests
  • Avoid multiple sexual partners
  • Always practice safe sex using contraception
  • Avoid habits like smoking as tobacco is known to cause cervical cancer
  • Maintain proper Genital Hygiene

As with most sexually transmitted diseases there is a stigma surrounding Cervical Cancer. It is time to leave the stigma behind and talk about the disease. Awareness and rigorous screening are the key to providing a new lease of life for women not just in India but around the world.

 
Disclaimer

Your skin and body like you are unique. While we have taken all measures to ensure that the information provided in this article and on our social media channels is credible and expert verified, we recommend you consult a doctor or your dermatologist before trying a home remedy, quick hack or exercise regime. For any feedback or complaint, reach out to us at compliant_gro@jagrannewmedia.com