Cervical cancer and HPV – not just a women’s health issue  

20 June 2022
2 min read
Published:

Dental professionals have an opportunity to strengthen partnerships with patients, to help them achieve better health and wellbeing. When you widen the focus of consultations, and bring in new, relevant topics, you will capture their interest and improve engagement. The message is that oral health promotion is about supporting a healthier, happier life – so more than “just” teeth and gums.

Screening, protection and prevention

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week occurs in June. The NHS offers smear tests to women aged between 25 and 64, to check the cervix, and the sample is then tested for high-risk strains of human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV can cause the cells to change and develop into cervical cancer, if untreated, and nearly all cervical cancers are caused by HPV.

Because HPV can infect men too, vaccinations are offered to all schoolchildren in the UK, aged between 11 and 13. The vaccine does not just protect against cervical cancer; some cancers of the mouth and throat, and of the anal/genital areas have also been linked to HPV.

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