You’re more at risk of HPV + cervical cancer than you think.

It’s estimated that about 80% of Canadian women of reproductive age will get the HPV virus in their lifetime.

HPV is the main cause of 99% of all cervical cancers.

In Canada alone, about 1,500 women are diagnosed each year of cervical cancer and 400 die from this type of cancer. Worldwide in 2012, about 730 women died of HPV-related cervical cancer every day.

But HPV – and, therefore, the majority of cervical cancers – can be prevented and the best way to help prevent certain types of HPV is by getting vaccinated. Although vaccination is the best protection, it doesn’t protect against all types of HPV – so it’s best to practice safer sex to decrease your chances of getting an HPV infection.

  • Talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated.

Vaccination does not protect everyone, and only protects individuals against those types of HPV that are contained in the vaccine. Side effects and allergic reactions may occur. Vaccinated women should still get routine cervical cancer screening.

What’s to know about HPV and cervical cancer, anyways?

HPV causes up to 99% of all cervical cancer cases.

Yes, cervical cancer.

Known as the world’s most common STI, many types will clear up on their own. However, for those that don’t, HPV can cause all cases of genital warts and is believed to be responsible – in addition to most cervical cancers – for 90% of anal cancers, 71% of vulvar, vaginal or penile cancers and 72% of oropharyngeal cancers.

What makes HPV such a sneaky and ultimately dangerous virus, is that it’s often asymptomatic. Meaning, you – or your partner – might not know you have it. Which makes transmission all too easy.

But HPV and cervical cancer can be prevented.

Vaccination does not protect everyone, and only protects individuals against those types of HPV that are contained in the vaccine. Side effects and allergic reactions may occur. Vaccinated women should still get routine cervical cancer screening.

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