Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes over 90% of all cervical and anal cancers and over 70% of oropharyngeal cancers, along with many vaginal, vulvar, and penile cancers. dr Helen Weber, Senior Medical Adviser at Sanlam, says the high incidence rate of cervical cancer in South Africa can be attributed to several factors, to name just one – a high prevalence of HPV in South Africa.
“Right now, the government is offering free HPV vaccinations to young girls across the country. Ideally, future vaccination should be gender-neutral, as HPV causes many other cancers that affect both sexes, with approximately 91% of men (and 85% of women) with a sexual partner becoming infected with HPV at some point in their lives. We urge all parents to vaccinate their children – girls and boys.” Importantly, vaccinating young women protects against cervical cancer later in life.
For girls in particular, the cost of not vaccinating could be devastating. Most cervical cancers that are caught early are treated with fertility-preserving procedures; However, these can increase the risk of miscarriage and preterm labor as the cervix plays a crucial role in carrying the pregnancy to term by protecting the growing baby.
sanlam ltd published this content on April 21, 2022 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by the public, unedited and unmodified, on Apr 22, 2022 12:57:08 UTC.