Cancer Prevention Vaccines
Doctors give prevention vaccines to healthy people to keep certain cancers from developing. Like vaccines for the chicken pox or the flu, they protect the body from viruses that can cause disease. A person has to get the vaccine before the virus infects him or her. Otherwise, the vaccine won’t work.
There are 2 types of cancer prevention vaccines:
- HPV vaccine. The vaccine protects against the human papillomavirus (HPV). If the virus is long-lasting, it can cause some types of cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved HPV vaccines to prevent:
- Cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancer
- Anal cancer
- Genital warts
HPV can also cause other cancers the FDA hasn’t approved the vaccine for, such as oral cancer.
- Hepatitis B vaccine. The vaccine prevents hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Long-lasting infection with HBV can cause liver cancer.