The human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine prevents infection with certain species of human papillomavirus associated with the development of cervical cancer, genital warts, and some less common cancers. Two HPV vaccines are currently on the market: Gardasil and Cervarix. Both vaccines protect against the two HPV types (HPV-16 and HPV-18) that cause 70% of cervical cancers, 80% of anal cancers, 60% of vaginal cancers, and 40% of vulvar cancers. These HPV types also cause most HPV induced oral cancers, and some other rare genital cancers. Gardasil also protects against the two HPV types (HPV-6 and HPV-11) that cause 90% of genital warts. Both vaccines have been shown to prevent potentially precancerous lesions of the cervix. Gardasil has been shown to prevent potential precursors to anal, vulvar, vaginal, and penile cancers. HPV vaccines are expected to protect against HPV induced cancers of these areas as well as HPV induced oral cancers.
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