HPV Vaccine highly recommended to prevent cervical cancer

Published 10:11 am Friday, January 26, 2018

The Mississippi State Department of Health recently reported that cases of cervical cancer have increased in women each year, but it’s an ailment that can be prevented.

According to Dr. Stephenie Matosich at Southeast Mississippi Woman’s Health Center in Hattiesburg, cervical cancer is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) that can spread orally, vaginally or anally.

In order to avoid contracting the disease, Matosich encourages everyone to receive the HPV vaccine.

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The vaccine is recommended for males aged 11-21 and females aged 11-26.

Matosich said there are different types of high-risk and low- risk HPV’S.

HPV 16 and 18 are high-risk variants that could possibly cause cervical, anal and penile cancer. The Gardasil 9 vaccine prevents HPV 6 and 11 that helps prevents genital warts. There is no vaccine for low-risk HPV variants because they have been observed to cause cancer.

“The vaccine is known to prevent the disease and not cure it, hence we recommend everyone to get the vaccine before they get sexually active,” Matosich said.

She said about 70 percent of cervical cancers worldwide and 90 percent of anal cancers can be prevented with the HPV vaccine.

“There aren’t really any symptoms that show up, but some people might see genital warts (that are) not necessarily cancer causing,” Matosich said.

The vaccine is currently recommended by American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society, American Academy of Family Practice and American College for Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

“The vaccine was implemented starting in 2006, which has helped decrease the incidents of high-risk HPV. We have lowered the chances of young adults getting the infection and cancer,” Matosich said.

To receive a HPV Vaccine at the Woman’s Health Center in Hattiesburg call 601-544-4550 and or for Picayune Family Health Center call 601-251-3500.