Everything You Need To Know About Cervical Cancer Vaccine

Everything You Need To Know About Cervical Cancer Vaccine

Cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancers to affect women. This is caused by a strain of virus called the Human papillomavirus or HPV. This virus is most often sexually transmitted. However, there are several other ways in which a woman could be exposed to this virus such as skin to skin contact. The virus can lie dormant in the body for several years and is often linked to cervical cancer. A new cervical cancer vaccine has been developed to prevent this condition in women.

Cervical Cancer and HPV

Here is everything that you need to know about the cervical cancer vaccine cost, schedule, and the potential side effects.

There are different strains of the HPV Virus. While some of them do not cause cervical cancer, most of them are linked to these diseases. According to studies conducted, there are four strains of HPV that normally cause cervical cancer in women. These strains of HPV are responsible for almost 70% of cases of cervical cancer. Therefore, ensuring that you get your daughter the vaccination as per the recommended schedule can help keep her protected.

Also read: Vaginal Hygiene Do’s and Don’ts

How Does the Cervical Cancer Vaccine Work?

The primary benefit of this vaccine is to protect women from cervical cancer. Today, two kinds of HPV vaccines are available, namely Cervarix and Gardasil. The cervical cancer vaccine cost for each of these varies. However, they are known to provide immunity against the four cancer-causing strains of HPV, namely:

  • HPV 6
  • HPV 11
  • HPV 16
  • HPV 18

Gardasil is one of the most commonly used HPV vaccines. It is safe for both young boys and girls. In the case of women, it protects them against cervical cancer if they are ever exposed to any of the strains of virus mentioned above. It is recommended that boys be vaccinated to as an attempt to reduce the chances of this virus being transmitted in the first place.

HPV Vaccination can protect women against vulvular cancer and vaginal cancer as well. In addition to this, HPV has been often linked with certain types of cancers of the throat and mouth. Therefore, this vaccine is recommended for both young boys and girls.

When Should It Be Given?

This vaccination must ideally be given before the individual becomes sexually active. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, young boys and girls between the age of 11 and 12 years should get this vaccination. There are some organizations that also recommend providing this vaccination between 9 and 10 years of age. It must be included as part of your child’s regular vaccination schedule to ensure lifelong protection.

The idea is to ensure that the child is protected before any exposure to the HPV virus. Once the individual has been exposed or infected with the virus, it may not be effective. In addition to this, the vaccine is more potent when the child is younger.

Also read: What My Breast Cancer Experience Taught Me – Mom Story

The schedule of the cervical cancer vaccine as per the CDC is as follows:

  • Between 9 to 14 years of age – Two doses of the HPV Vaccine with a gap of at least 6 months in between.
  • For individuals above 14 years of age – 3 doses of the vaccine should be provided with a gap of 6 months each.

For younger children, no screening is required before providing this vaccination. However, in the case of married women, the vaccination is only provided after they are checked for a previous HPV infection.

What are The Side Effects of this Vaccine?

There are some common side effects of this vaccine such as redness, pain, and swelling in the area where the shot was given. There is also some mild cervical cancer vaccine pain that some individuals may experience. Fever is quite common when an individual receives this vaccine. Other side effects are nausea, headache, and muscle or joint pain.

In some cases, there may be no side effects at all. If the child has any side effects, it may last for a day a two. Using cold compress in case of cervical cancer vaccine pain is recommended. The other symptoms usually go away on their own.

Who Should Not Take This Vaccine?

If any individual has had a serious allergic reaction to a previous shot of the vaccine, the rest of the doses must be avoided. Even if the child has any pre-existing allergies, make sure that you check with your doctor before providing any shots.

If the individual is ill when scheduled for a shot, it is best to postpone the vaccination. It must not be taken by pregnant women.

Also read: Everything You Need To Know About The Tetanus Vaccine

What Does The Cervical Cancer Vaccine Cost?

Cervical Cancer Vaccine Cost can go up to about Rs.3000 per dose. This is the cost for Gardasil that is most commonly used in India.

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