Tennessee Prevents Cervical Cancer With Testing and HPV Vaccination

HPV vaccine Gardasil 9 is approved for women and men between the ages of 9 and 45 years old

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The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) is launching an aggressive cancer prevention campaign during 2019. 

The TDH is urging women to defeat cervical cancer by scheduling a preventive vaccination and conduct regular screenings. 

This TDH press release on January 22, 2019, says cervical cancer is almost 100 percent preventable through routine Pap screenings, living tobacco-free and receiving the recommended human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination.   

Every year, HPV causes approximately 34,000 cancers, including cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancer in women; penile cancer in men; and mouth, throat, and anal cancer in women and men, says Cancer.gov.   

TDH Director of Reproductive and Women’s Health Kelly Luskin, MSN, WHNP-BC, said: “Women between 21 and 65 years of age should get periodic screening for cervical cancer and talk with their healthcare providers about ways to prevent and reduce the risk of cervical cancer.” 

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommends a Pap smear screening for cervical cancer and testing for HPV every 3 years for women ages 21 through 65. 

Screening can be lengthened to every 5 years with HPV testing for women who wish to be screened less frequently.

Approximately 79 million Americans currently have HPV, but most don’t know they are infected, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

And now, more people have access to the HPV vaccine. 

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In October 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the application of the Gardasil 9 vaccine to include both women and men younger than 45 years old, and older than 8 years of age. 

This TDH message is important since a January 2019 study reported only 15.8 percent of U.S. adolescents have been fully vaccinated against HPV by the time they turn 13 years old, according to a new study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 

The Tennessee Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program provides screening and diagnostic testing to qualified uninsured and underinsured Tennessee women. 

For more information on the TBCSP including eligibility requirements, call 615-532-8383, visit Tennessee Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening or contact your local health department.

HPV vaccines can be found in most authorized pharmacies and physician offices in the USA. 

To schedule a vaccination appointment, please visit this page.

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides HPV vaccine prices for general information. And vaccine discounts can be found here.