Vaccines for Cancer prevention

There are two vaccines, the HPV (human papillomavirus) and  Hepatitis B vaccines, recommended for cancer prevention. 

The human papillomavirus is a very common sexually transmitted infection, it is usually harmless and goes away by itself, but in some cases it can cause genital warts or cancer. There are more than 200 types of this virus, about a dozen of which can lead to cancer in the mouth, throat, vulva, vagina, penis or anus. 

There are three HPV vaccines licensed in the USA, all of which prevent infections from HPV 16 and 18, which cause about 70% of cervical cancer. One of these vaccines, Gardasil 9, also prevents infection from five additional cancer causing types of HPV. You can also treat HPV before it turns into cancer by getting regular Pap/HPV tests. Condoms also lower the chances of getting HPV. 

Years after getting the HPV vaccination, women continue to be protected from cervical cancer but this vaccine does not substitute cervical cancer screening tests.

Hepatitis B is an infection which causes liver inflammation. This virus weakens the liver’s ability to perform tasks like filtering toxins from the blood and maintaining sugar levels in the blood.

Long term infections of Hepatitis B or C viruses can lead to liver cancer. To prevent liver cancer, people living with hepatitis B should not consume alcohol or eat large amounts of junk food.

The Hepatitis B vaccine is given in three doses. It is very important to receive all three doses to get lifelong protection from hepatitis B-related liver cancer. If you think you need the vaccine but are afraid you could be at risk, talk to your doctor about getting tested for hepatitis B. 

Remember that getting tested early can make the treatment and recovery easier and it will be less costly, especially if you have Cancer insurance. 



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