Cervical Cancer is the second most common cancer affecting women in Malaysia, after Breast Cancer.
What is a cervical cancer?
The cervix is the neck of the womb (uterus). It connects the body of the uterus to the vagina (birth canal). Cancer occurs when the cells of the cervix become abnormal and grow out of control. The cancer can spread to other parts of the body.
HPV leads to Cervical Cancer.
What is HPV?
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a family of more than 100 viruses that is very common. Some types of HPV are associated with certain types of cancer. These are called “high-risk” cancer-causing HPVs.
How is HPV transmitted?
HPV is a common virus that is transmitted through genital skin to skin contact so it can affect virtually any woman, regardless of her age and lifestyle. Sexual intercourse is not neccessary to become infected.
Can cervical cancer be prevented?
Until recently the only way to prevent cervical cancer was regular Pap Smear testing to look for early signs of the disease.
Vaccination is now available to prevent HPV infection and cervical cancer.
What is a Pap Smear?
It is a quick and simple test to find abnormal cells at the surface of the cervix. Usually cells are collected from the cervix and sent to a laboratory where they are tested for changes.
What is the purpose of HPV vaccine?
A prophylactic vaccine to help prevent infections caused by specific “high risk” HPV types. It does not treat existing disease.
Who should be vaccinated?
The ideal time to vaccinate against HPV is prior to exposure to HPV – therefore, before the first sexual intercourse.
Will you still need to go for regular Pap Smear tests?
Yes. The vaccine only protects against cervical cancer and precancerous lesions caused by the specific HPV types covered by the vaccine.