It’s not just cervical cancer that the HPV vaccine may help to prevent
Experts believe that the vaccination programme can turn the tide on HPV-related cancers of the throat and mouth
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Narrated by Dr Mark Porter
NHS England has pledged to eliminate cancer of the cervix by 2040 using the combination of an updated human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and renewed efforts to encourage all eligible women to have regular smear tests. It is a lofty goal, but one that is achievable and that could have other benefits too — and not just for women.
About eight in ten of us will catch HPV at least once, typically through sexual contact. While most people will eventually eliminate the virus, the infection persists in some, in whom it can trigger cancers decades later, and not only in the cervix. HPV infection is also associated with cancers of the vagina and vulva, penis, anus and the head and neck.
Indeed, HPV-positive cancers of the