Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Cancer, HPV Testing, and HPV Vaccines : Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the benefits of the vaccines?

Both vaccines prevent the 2 types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers (HPV types 16 and 18). Gardasil has also been shown to prevent anal, vulvar, and vaginal cancers related to these 2 types of HPV. It also protects against the 2 types of HPV that cause most genital warts (HPV types 6 and 11).

The vaccines only work in people who have not already been exposed to these types of HPV. The vaccines will not prevent HPV in those who have already had these HPV types.

It’s possible that the vaccines also could prevent some other HPV-related cancers, including some cancers of the penis and head and neck areas. It will be some time before studies can prove whether they will prevent these cancers.

Last Medical Review: 05/02/2013
Last Revised: 05/02/2013