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Who does cervical cancer affect?
Cervical cancer affects young women that are between the ages of 20 and 40 and many times the cervical cancer is already advanced, and hence there is high death rate from cervical cancer.
What is Gardasil?
Gardasil is a human papillomavirus vaccine that is given to women that are potentially at risk for being infected with the human papillomavirus. We know that the human papillomavirus causes more than 80 percent of all cervical cancers. By preventing the infection you are then preventing in over 80 percent of cases to get cervical cancer.
Why should I get the Gardasil vaccine? I’m already getting Pap smears every year, isn’t this enough?
The Pap smear is to detect early stages of cervical cancer, or if you have advanced cervical cancer. So the Pap smear is really a test to see if the problem is already there. The human papilloma vaccine, or Gardasil, is to prevent the infection from ever occurring. Because once you have the infection, the vaccine will not help you.
Is the Gardasil vaccine just one shot?
The Gardasil shots are a series of the three vaccines that you get over a six-month period.
How can I find out if I should get the vaccine?
The overall side effects of Gardasil are minimal; however, it would be very important to discuss the risks and benefits with your GYN physician and see if this vaccine would be beneficial and important for you. I think it’s very important for young and older women to know that having annual Pap smears are very important for screening and when you go in for you annual Pap smear, discuss with your GYN physician whether Gardasil would be appropriate for you.
For More Information
To learn more about Sharp's women's health services or to find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego OBGYN or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. To find general information about women's health, visit Women's Health in Adult Health or read the Women's Health News archive.
1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.
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