Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is found in about 99 percent of cervical cancers, but it can often be prevented with vaccinations.
We're talking about the role of HPV vaccinations and pap screening in preventing cervical cancer in today's Neighborhood Health Watch.
Dr. Nikita Mishra with the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Johnston-Willis Hospital says HPV is "the most essential for cervical cancer to develop."
"Over the past years, we have had great vaccination with very good efficacy," said Dr. Mishra. "We have a lot of potential here with vaccinating all our children, not just girls but also boys, because it prevents warts. It prevents anal cancer, penile cancer, oral cancer. You are not just looking at cervical, vulva or vaginal cancers."
Dr. Mishra says it's important for children to get the vaccine before they become sexually active.
"You need to get all those doses and the complete series in before your first sexual intercourse," said Dr. Mishra. "The risk of acquiring HPV in the first sexual intercourse is 60 percent."