Get the facts.

  • The cervix is an important part of your reproductive system.
  • Cervical cancer can affect young women in their 20's and 30's. It's the second most common cancer in women aged 20 to 44, after breast cancer.* In fact:
    • - Every day, 1 Canadian woman dies of cervical cancer.
    • - Every 6 hours, another Canadian woman is diagnosed with cervical cancer.
  • All cases of cervical cancer are caused by a common virus called HPV. Up to 4 out of 5 females will be infected with HPV during their lifetime. For some, this will lead to cervical cancer.
  • Regular Pap tests and Cervarix® vaccination can help protect you against the HPV types that cause most cases of cervical cancer (HPV 16 and 18).

    Understanding how Cervarix® can help protect you against cervical cancer starts by learning more about HPV, the virus that causes cervical cancer.

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What causes cervical cancer?

Unlike most cancers, cervical cancer is caused by a virus called HPV.

HPV stands for Human Papillomavirus and is spread by skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity. Here's what every girl and woman should know:

There are different types of HPV.
Low-risk types do not cause cervical cancer, while high-risk types can cause cervical cancer.

It's a very common virus.
How common? Up to 4 out of 5 females will be infected with HPV during their lifetime.* For some, this will lead to cervical cancer.

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You could be infected without knowing it.
In most cases, HPV doesn't cause any symptoms and goes away on its own. But, if you're infected with a high-risk type of HPV that doesn't go away, it may lead to cervical cancer over time.

You can get it more than once.
Even if you have been exposed to HPV, your body doesn't develop long-term protection against it. That means, you could be infected again. Each time, there's a risk the virus won't go away and could lead to cervical cancer.

Condoms may not be enough.
The truth is, you can be infected with cancer-causing HPV after only one exposure to someone who has the virus. And while condoms provide some protection, HPV can still be spread through contact with areas that aren't covered. In other words, you can get HPV through oral or hand-genital contact – not just intercourse.

Why help protect myself now?

Unlike most cancers, cervical cancer is caused by a common virus called HPV.

  • HPV infections are most common in teens and young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.
  • If you become infected with HPV, there's no way to know for sure whether your body will clear the virus. If it doesn't, cervical cancer could develop.
  • With regular Pap tests and Cervarix® vaccination, you can help protect yourself against the HPV types that cause most cases of cervical cancer (HPV 16 and 18).
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