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HPV Vaccination: How Getting the Shot Can Protect You from Cervical Cancer – Importance and Prevention Tips | health news

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women in our country, resulting in high mortality, especially if detected late. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a primary cause. Regular screening and vaccination are important for early detection and prevention. Prioritizing women’s health, awareness campaigns and accessible healthcare effectively contribute to the fight against this dreaded disease.

Dr Alka Dahiya, Associate Consultant, Surgical Gynecology Oncology, Max Super Specialty Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, says, “There are multiple risk factors, for example, starting sexual activity at a young age. Multiple sexual partners, low socioeconomic status with poor personal hygiene. And Sexual hygiene and prolonged use of oral contraceptive pills, but fortunately today we have many strategies that can help us detect this cancer in time or prevent it altogether. We now have the HPV vaccine that is given between the ages of 9 and 14 in girls or even 26 years of age. Offer up to age.”

“We have screening techniques like Pap smears to protect against this virus every 3 years and HPV testing every 5 years can help prevent this problem in the early or pre-invasive stages when it’s still treatable. And very curable. So, maintain a good sexual hygiene,” highlights Dr. Alka.

HPV vaccine is needed and where to get it

Dr N Sapna Lulla, Lead Consultant, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Aster CMI Hospital, Bangalore adds, “The HPV vaccine provides tremendous protection, reducing the risk of cancer by 99%. The earlier the vaccine is administered (9-26 years of age), the better. Implications. Women up to age 45 may also benefit from vaccination, especially if they have not been vaccinated before, have a genetic risk, or are at risk due to certain sexual practices.”

Who is eligible for the HPV vaccine?

Although all women can receive the vaccine, pregnant women, women with compromised immune systems, and those with allergies to selected medications should consult their physician before receiving the vaccine. There are no obvious side effects associated with vaccination, however, pain or redness at the injection site, headache or dizziness, or muscle pain may occur, which will subside over time.
“Early detection is essential, as symptoms are not evident until stage 3, which is often seen later. Unfortunately, many women in India seek help at later stages, reducing the recovery rate to 50%. Thus, early detection significantly increases the chances of recovery,” adds Dr N Sapna. .

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