World HPV Disease Day: screening, vaccination… how to be well informed about the Papillomavirus ?

World HPV Disease Day: screening, vaccination... how to be well informed about the Papillomavirus ?

World HPV Day: let's learn now to protect our teenagers!

This March 4 will be marked by World HPV Awareness Day. Prevention means exist to protect young adolescents from HPV-related infections, which can progress to certain cancers in adulthood. However, too few still benefit from it. This is an opportunity to raise awareness among parents of the importance of taking action. Explanations from Professor Philippe Descamps, gynecologist and head of department at Angers University Hospital.

HPV or human papillomaviruses are particularly common viruses, extremely contagious and which concern us all. " Most of us, men or women, are exposed to the papillomavirus during life", explains Professor Philippe Some camps. "We all carry the virus and can all transmit it. However, it should be noted that in the majority of cases, the body manages to get rid of it." But unfortunately it also happens that the infection persists.

Every year, 6,400 cases of preventable cancers due to HPV

How to explain it ? "Without natural elimination of the virus, pre-cancerous lesions can gradually develop over a period of 10 to 15 years. These lesions can affect both men and women."

Result: a risk that these pre-cancerous lesions develop into cancers of the anus as well as the mouth and throat. "Let us also add the vulva, the cervix and the vagina in women and the penis in men", specifies Professor Descamps. Thus, in total, HPV is responsible each year in France for 6,400 new cases of anogenital and ENT cancers, which are nevertheless preventable. Furthermore, HPV also causes 100,000 cases of anogenital warts, and more than 30,000 pre-cancerous lesions of the cervix, vagina, vulva and anus are detected annually.

Protect yourself today to avoid cancers of tomorrow

"The prevention policy in France is based on vaccination from 11 to 19 years of age for girls and boys, and screening by smears to detect cervical cancer. Other cancers cannot be detected, hence the interest in vaccination." Problem according to Professor Descamps, "France is behind in this area. Currently, the vaccination rate for young girls is around 43%, while that for young boys is only 13.5%. Alarming figures which require immediate action from everyone, especially parents." World HPV Awareness Day on March 4 is an opportunity to talk about this subject.

Doctors and pharmacists at your service

You have questions, need information, or even doubts ? Talk now about ways to protect yourself against HPV infections with a healthcare professional, particularly your doctor or your pharmacist. Finally, to find out more about HPV, consult the website of the National Cancer Institute at

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