Early prevention and diagnosis Cervix cancer and Papillomavirus

An annual cytology and the vaccination against Papillomavirus are the most efficient measures to prevent the apparition of this disease.

Cervix cancer is provoked by certain types (16 and 18) of the Papillomavirus (VPH). Infection by VPH is transmitted during sexual intercourse or skin on skin contact in the genital area. 80% of sexually active women have been exposed to a Papillomavirus contagion. Fortunately, most of these infections disappear on their own, although certain persistent ones may lead to Cervix Cancer.

Importance of Cervix Cancer Importance:

Cervix Cancer is the second most frequent cancer experienced in young women (15-44 years old), after Breast Cancer.

Diagnostic of the Cervix Cancer:

A regular cytology (annual gynecological revision) helps detect the precursor signs of Cervix Cancer at an early stage and therefore perform a quick, simple treatment which is generally very efficient; hence, it is important to have an annual gynecological check-up.

Prevention of the disease:

There is presently a preventive vaccine against Papillomavirus (serotype 16 and 18, responsible for 70% of Cervix Cancer cases). Its efficiency rate is the highest (99%). We administer three intra-muscular doses at 0, 1 and 6 months.

The vaccine against Papillomavirus (HPV) has therefore proven its efficiency in the reduction of Cervix Cancer rate and pre-cancerous lesions associated to it.

Cervix Cancer Prevention Program

The cervico-vaginal cytology (included in the annual gynecological check-up), like the colposcopy, the biopsy and the search for a presence of the Papillomavirus (VPH) are different methods enabling an early diagnosis of alterations produced before the apparition of the cervix cancer. The vaccination against VPH oncogenic serotypes helps prevent close to 70% of cases, the apparition of cervix cancer and pre-cancerous lesions.

Frequently asked questions about the Vaccine against Cervix Cancer

Can we give the vaccine to already sexually active women?

The studies seem to show that the advantage obtained by the vaccine is not affected whether we have had prior sexual relations or not. It is true that the immunization reaches its highest level when there is no prior infection to the VPH type contained in the vaccine. We should however, state that the fact of having had sexual relations does not necessary imply an infection by the virus.

Do we need to first detect a possible VPH infection before getting the vaccine?

It’s not necessary, since the probability that a woman is simultaneously infected by the content types in the vaccine is practically nil; this guaranties the preventive efficiency of the vaccine in already infected persons.

Can a woman whose cytology is abnormal be vaccinated?

Yes. However, it’s shown that since the vaccine has no therapeutic efficiency, it cannot protect future lesions due to existing alterations. But, future lesions owing to new infections can be prevented.

Can a woman suffering from genital warts be vaccinated?

Yes, since one of the two types of existing vaccines specifically protects against genital warts (condyloma). The vaccine will therefore prevent the apparition of future warts, occurring due to new infections, but will not heal the already existing warts.

Can a woman suffering from a certain type of acute infection, such as a influenza, viral gastroenteritis, chicken pox, etc. be vaccinated?

In case of an acute disease, provoking fever, the vaccination should be postponed until after healing.

Should the vaccination be postponed if we suffer from a cold or a slight respiratory infection?


Can a woman suffering from immunodeficiency be vaccinated?

The vaccination immunity and efficiency may be the least in this type of person. In this case, the doctor should evaluate the benefit/risk ratio.

Can a pregnant woman be vaccinated?

The information that we possess do not show any contradiction of the vaccine in pregnant women. However, this information is not enough to recommend it. Also, the vaccine should be postponed until after the delivery.

Can we administer the vaccine during the period of lactation?

Yes, the women under lactation period may get vaccinated.

Can women using hormonal contraceptives be vaccinated?

Yes, the use of hormonal contraceptives does not affect the immunity provided by the vaccine.

¿Which type of women should not get vaccinated?

Women suffering from hyper-sensitivity to one of the different components of the vaccine should not be vaccinated. The persons showing hyper-sensitivity symptoms after receiving a dose of any vaccine should not be called back.

Can the vaccine be given at the same time as other vaccinations?

Yes, and the study proves it. In this case, the two vaccines should be given in different places of the body.

Last Update:
Vacunación frente al cáncer de cérvix en mujeres fuera de los programas de vacunación sistemática. SEGO. Prog Obstet Ginecol. 2012;55 (Supl. 1):1-2