The Cervical Cancer Vaccine

The Cervical Cancer Vaccine

● Cervical cancer is caused by certain carcinogenic (cancer causing) types of the
sexually transmitted Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
● Of these types over 70% of women who develop cervical cancer in their 20s and 30s
are found to be infected with HPV 16 and 18.
● The cervical cancer vaccine protects women from being infected with these two
highly carcinogenic types of HPV (HPV 16 and HPV 18)

By having 3 injections in your arm over 6 months you will obtain long term protection from these carcinogenic types of HPV.
However, since it only protects against becoming infected with the virus but does not treat any existing infection; it will not be able to eliminate any HPV viruses that you may already have or treat any dysplasia (abnormal cells) that may have developed.
Furthermore since it only protects against HPV 16 and 18 and not the other cancer causing types, all sexually experienced women should continue to have their annual pap smears.

Who is eligible?

The vaccine is approved for girls/women over the age of 10 years.
(*The vaccine is most effective when given to young adolescent girls before the onset
of sexual activity.)

How is the vaccine administered?

The vaccine is administered 3 times in the muscle of the upper arm over a period of
6 months. After the first injection a second and third injection will be given one month
And 6 months later, respectively.

(If you discover you are pregnant after starting the course of vaccination, further
immunization will stop until after the pregnancy.)

Side Effects

In about 10% of cases redness, pain or swelling at the site of the injection occurs.
However, it usually subsides after a few days.
In less than 0.1% of cases, some people may have an allergic reaction which causes
breathing difficulties.

How much does it cost?

The vaccine is offered free to all girls in grades 1-3 of Junior High and grade 1 of
Senior High who are citizens of Sapporo city.

The cost varies from hospital to hospital.
It costs approximately 15,000 yen per vaccination.
Including the doctor’s fee, you should expect to pay about
50,000 yen for 3 doses.

Kaori Nagashima M.D.

Please refer to For all women undergoing screening for cervical or uterine cancer.