Did you know that the number 2 cancer killer among Filipinas is Cervical Cancer? I never knew that, not until I attended an intimate dialogue discussing Cervical Cancer and the virus that causes it. May is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and MSD organizes its own commemoration through this dialogue themed as “An HPV-Free Future.” It helped me understand more about Cervical Cancer, the virus causing it and Cervical Cancer Vaccine Philippines (available here in the country).
Cervical Cancer Vaccine Philippines Dialogue For An HPV-Free Future
Keeping it short and direct for you, here are Cervical Cancer Vaccine Philippines: 5 Burning Questions Answered!
#1. What is Cervical Cancer Vaccine?
Cervical Cancer Vaccine is a vaccine developed to protect the cervix from cancer causing virus.
- HPV or Human Papillomavirus is the virus responsible for causing infections and cancer to the genital area which includes the cervix.
- HPV has more than 100 strains and about 40 kinds can infect the genital area.
- HPV strains that can cause cancer is about a dozen.
- HPV 16 and HPV 18 is the worst strain and the major cancer causing.
- HPV 6 and HPV 11 causes most cases of genital warts.
Most Cervical Cancer Vaccine Philippines can provide protection from HPV 16 and 18 and the newest Cervival Cancer Vaccine, Gerdasil 9 or G9 can protect the genital area from 9 types of HPV:
- 7 Cancer causing HPV strains : 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58
- 2 genital warts causing HPV strains: 6 and 11
#2 How safe is Cervical Cancer Vaccine?
It is safe for breastfeeding mom as discussed during the dialogue. It is safe and has no serious side effect. Local side effects can be experienced after the vaccine is administered.
#3 How long the Cervival Cancer Vaccine can protect the patient from hpv?
15 years and counting. That being said because the first ever vaccination was done 15 years ago and these are observed up until now. So there is not truth on some issues that the vaccine can only last up to 5 years (a friend mentioned this to me).
#4 Who needs the Cervical Cancer Vaccine Philippines?
- It is advised to women and men as early as 9 years old. Currently, the government is doing mass vaccinations of school girls on that age range (9-10 or 9-11).
- I am 35 years old, do I need it? YES
- My mother is 65 years old, does she need it? My mother is single and even she suddenly got a partner, Cervical Cancer does not develop over night. It takes 20 years. The decision to have a senior citizen vaccinated against hpv is a personal choice.
- Why vaccinate boys/ men? They do not have cervix. HPV is not just about cervical cancer, other form of cancer in the genital area are caused by HPV.
#5 How much is the Cervical Cancer Vaccine Philippines?
The cervical cancer vaccine that protects from 9 HPV strains is 7000 Pesos per shot (Gardasil 9 or G9). If you are more than 15 years old, you will need 3 shots in 6 months duration. Ask your OB Gyne about the schedule. For kids, only 2 shots are needed. You can ask your pedia about this.
A question that has been asked: “I already completed the whole 3 shots of another brand, do I need the newest cervical cancer vaccine? YES yo do. The old vaccine can only protects from 4 strains. Getting a complete dose of G9 protects you 5 more cancer causing hpv types.
Another question: I only got 1 dose of Gardasil 4, can I continue it with second dose and 3rd dose using Gardasil 9? NO. You need to start again with dose using Gardasil 9.
Another question: I only got one dose of Gardasil 4/ other brand, should I finish this and then get Gardasil 9? You don’t have to. You just need to start again with dose 1 with Gardasil 9.
After the dialogue, we got the chance to talk to some survivors of Cervical Cancer. We asked them what advice they can give to other women, specially to moms. And all said un unison: PAP SMEAR.
Schedule your visit to your OB now for a pap smear and ask about the newest Cervical Cancer Vaccine Philippines.