Why my kids got the HPV vaccine
All males and females ages 9–26 should get the HPV vaccine. It is most effective when given at ages 11–12. Unvaccinated men and women ages 27–45 can also get the HPV vaccine and should talk to their doctor about the benefits of the vaccine.
The HPV vaccine prevents cervical cancer, anal cancer, vaginal cancer, vulvar cancer, and anal and genital warts associated with certain HPV types. The HPV vaccine may also reduce the risk of other HPV-related premalignant and malignant lesions of the oropharynx and penis.
Things to know about the HPV vaccine
- The HPV vaccine is a safe and effective vaccination against cancer.
- No research links the HPV vaccine to earlier or increased sexual activity in boys or girls.
- Becoming pregnant after receiving the HPV vaccine is safe for both mother and fetus.
HPV and cervical cancer
Because no vaccine prevents all types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer, vaccinated women age 21 to 29 should still receive Pap tests every three years.
In addition to Pap tests, women age 30 to 64 also should be tested for HPV every five years. This exam checks your cervix for the virus that can cause abnormal cells that lead to cervical cancer. It may show that more frequent screening is needed.
Women age 65 or older should discuss their individual need for screening with their doctor.
HPV Call to Action
MD Anderson joins all NCI-designated cancer centers in urging parents and physicians to improve HPV vaccination rates.