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Safety & Prevention

3 Things to Know to Prevent 6 Types of Cancer

​​Did you know that almost all cervical cancer and most oral cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV)? And did you know that there is a vaccine against HPV that can prevent six types of cancer?

Vaccinating kids against HPV when they are ages 9-12 years will allow them to build strong immunity against the virus before they are exposed to it.

  • 1. HPV infections are very common.


    Three out of four young people are exposed to HPV when they are between 15 and 24 years old. HPV infections that don't go away can cause certain types of cancer. Vaccinating your preteen or teen before they are exposed to HPV means they develop long-term immunity to these cancers.

  • 2. We don't know who will get cancer from HPV and who won't


    Only cervical cancer can be detected early with a screening test. The other HPV-associated cancers may not be found until years later, when they are much more serious. There are no scree​ning tests to find most cancers from HPV.​

  • 3. Preventing cancer is better than treating it


    ​Each year more than 46,000 people are diagnosed with one of six types of cancer caused by HPV. Vaccination can prevent almost all HPV infections. Preventing HPV infection will protect against over 90% of cancers caused by HPV.


    If you have any questions about preventing HPV, talk with your pediatrician.

    More information

Last Updated
American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2023)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.


This document was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 5NU38OT000282 funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.

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