The HPV or the Human Pappiloma Virus causes most cervical cancers. With advancement in technology, a vaccine has been developed to give protection against the HPV virus and thus reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer in young teenage women.
The Best Preventive Tips For Teenage Cervical Cancer
Causes of Cervical Cancer
One of the biggest risk factors of cervical cancer in young teenage girls is sexual promiscuity and having multiple sex partners at an early age. This has largely been the trend in most western countries and even the so-called less developed nations are succumbing to this notion.
Young girls are becoming more aware of their sexuality and are keen to experiment. This puts them at risk for contracting the dreadful virus that causes cervical cancer. That is why most government agencies are aggressively marketing the importance of this vaccine.
How Does The Vaccine Work?
Various strains of HPV virus cause cervical cancer. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) have approved two new vaccines – Gardasil and Cervarix. Both the vaccines can prevent the development of cervical cancer if the girls are given this vaccine in a timely manner. The vaccine also prevents vaginal cancer and the development of genital warts, which are spread through HPV.
When Should It Be Given?
The cervical cancer is recommended for all girls between the ages of 9-12. Some girls are vaccinated as early as nine especially in western countries where they are exposed to promiscuous sexual behaviour.
Once the girl indulges in sex and contracts the HPV virus, the effectiveness of this vaccine is reduced. The vaccine gardasil can also be given to boys between the ages of 9-16 as it helps to protect them from genital warts.
Women who have missed the vaccine in their earlier years can still catch up and receive the vaccine between the ages of 13-26. Women above the age of 26 are not recommended for this vaccine.
The immunization schedule follows a six-month pattern. Three doses of the vaccine are given during a 6-month period. The second dose is given two months after the first dose and the third dose is given at 6 months. The vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women or people who have severe or unknown allergies.
Why Are Three Doses Given?
Recent research has postulated that the higher the dosage of the vaccine, the higher the number of antibodies in the woman’s body to fight against the infection. Since only three doses are given, it makes sense to give the woman adequate protection with the help of antibodies that will protect her for years or even decades.
In any case, the vaccine does not give adequate protection against all the possible strains and mutations of the HPV virus. After a few years, a booster shot can also be given to the woman.
What If You Are Already Sexually Active?
For women and teens that are already sexually active, the vaccine can still be given before the age of 26. This is because of the less likelihood of being exposed to different strains of the virus.
After the age of 26, the chances of having multiple sex partners are increased and the girl is likely to be exposed to different strains of the virus, which makes the vaccine ineffective.