Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center

Conquering Cancer with HPV Vaccination

HPV Vaccine

Get the Vaccine for Your Tween or Teen

Did you know getting a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for your children can protect them from developing six types of cancer later in life? HPV vaccination is cancer prevention. This is a safe and very effective vaccine. 

Why It Matters

Jasmin Tiro, Ph.D., weighs in on the importance of protecting your teen or tween with the HPV vaccination.

Who: Doctors recommend boys and girls get the HPV vaccination series at ages 11-12, when other adolescent vaccines are also recommended. Children can start being protected at age 9. Teenagers and young adults who did not get vaccinated when they were younger should get it now.

What: UT Southwestern offers the Gardasil®9 vaccine that protects against six different HPV strains that cause most cases of HPV-related cancers and genital warts.

Why: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates approximately 80 percent of people will become infected with HPV in their lifetime. Most will clear their infection, but for some, the infection will persist. This can lead to cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, or anus. Persistent HPV infection can also cause cancer in the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils (called oropharyngeal cancer). Cancers caused by HPV usually do not have symptoms until they are quite advanced, making them harder to treat. That’s why it’s important to receive the vaccine and prevent infection from HPV.

Learn more: What is HPV?

Protect Your Teen or Tween from Cervical Cancer

HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer, but it can be prevented. When you get the HPV vaccine for your teen or tween, you’re helping protect him or her for life.

Special Note about Cervical Cancer

Although the HPV vaccine became available in 2006 to prevent HPV-related cancers, our cancer specialists note it’s still important to get screened for cervical cancer with the Pap and HPV tests. “Women 21 to 65 years old, regardless of their HPV vaccination history, should continue to be screened. The vaccine reduces the risk of cancer but has not yet been shown to eliminate the need for screening,” explains UT Southwestern gynecologic oncologist Dr. Jayanthi S. Lea.


For questions, call our Cancer Answer Line at 833-722-6237 or email canceranswerline@utsouthwestern.edu to learn more.


For scheduling, call 214-645-8300.