HPV vaccine and cervical cancer

(26 Posts)
Fantasisa Tue 15-Sep-20 15:17:44

If the HPV vaccine stops most kinds of cervical cancer, should we all be getting vaccinated? I realise the government isn't about to pay for this, so should we be encouraged to book them privately? I notice you can get vaccinated at Boots for just under £500 (it takes three injections several months apart at my age).

Just wondering what I'm missing with this...

OP’s posts: |
PremierInn Tue 15-Sep-20 15:25:13

The theory is that by the time you are sexually active, to simplify, it is too late as you have been exposed to a number if the viruses anyway. So age (or, really, number of sexual partners) counts against you. If you've got a spare £500 though, why not? You could also read up on the latest research into doses - one might be enough

Fantasisa Tue 15-Sep-20 15:29:29

Thanks @PremierInn. I thought there must be a reason - it doesn't say that on the NHS/Boots site.

I really don't have a spare £500 but having watched a friend have treatment for cervical cancer I wondered if it was something that could be avoided in those of us too old to have had the jab at school.

OP’s posts: |
PremierInn Tue 15-Sep-20 15:32:23

I got one despite what I told you above, after my divorce as he was my only partner and I knew I would go on to have more. Not sure it was sensible use of £450 but it put my mind at rest a bit. From what I read, it seemed a bit pointless if you've had more than one or two partners

tootyfruitypickle Tue 15-Sep-20 17:45:11

Gosh this is interesting. At my last smear they only tested for HPV and I was neg, so therefore as I am single no more need for smears unless I become less single. But I could get vaccinated instead of returning to smears? I hadn’t even realised that. Although at present the singledom is staying as I enjoy it grin

giddyasakipper Tue 15-Sep-20 17:47:50

I had CIN 3 found after my first smear test and had to have part of my cervix removed at 25. I was tested for HPV and completely negative so you still need to get them done!

Fantasisa Tue 15-Sep-20 17:48:34

@tootyfruitypickle Well, I knew about this change of screening in smears but the NHS guidance says to continue to have smears so I'm not sure.

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tootyfruitypickle Tue 15-Sep-20 18:19:39

But presumably that’s because most people still have partners ?

tootyfruitypickle Tue 15-Sep-20 18:21:11

@giddyasakipper that’s awful . What confuses me is that they didn’t test the cells, it was only screened for HPV. So if that’s all they check for and I know I am negative I can’t see the point of going.
I am going to check this theory with my GP of course !

giddyasakipper Tue 15-Sep-20 18:28:03

tootyfruitypickle

*@giddyasakipper* that’s awful . What confuses me is that they didn’t test the cells, it was only screened for HPV. So if that’s all they check for and I know I am negative I can’t see the point of going.
I am going to check this theory with my GP of course !


I completely agree - that sounds bizarre to me! Doesn't seem to be a very thorough method of testing!

Fantasisa Tue 15-Sep-20 18:28:05

@giddyasakipper - So sorry to hear that.

I think smears only check for HPV cancerous cells to begin with now - I am basing that on a thread I read on here recently and it was been welcomed as a good thing for women but the details are sketchy and I could be wrong!

Men also get HPV cancer so I'm wondering why there isn't a push for this vaccine at all age ranges even if i has to be paid for privately. It might be around efficacy as a pp suggested.

OP’s posts: |
tootyfruitypickle Tue 15-Sep-20 18:30:40

Although I’m definitely staying single if the vaccine costs £1,500 . No man is worth that !

Fantasisa Tue 15-Sep-20 18:31:30

No, the £500 was for the three injections. Think it is actually £475 at Boots.

OP’s posts: |
user165423256322 Tue 15-Sep-20 18:32:09

Lots of areas are switching over to the screening method where they only look at the cells if you test positive for the high risk strains of HPV. So, cervical screening will not identify abnormal cells in anyone HPV-negative in those areas because they won't be looking at the sample!

I expect this will become the norm for every area at some point in near future. So you could just do a HPV test and only put yourself through the cell collection aspect if you were positive.

user165423256322 Tue 15-Sep-20 18:34:08

Doesn't seem to be a very thorough method of testing!

It's not about being thorough, it's about risk-benefit at a population level. That's what screening programmes are based on, not on trying to catch every single case.

giddyasakipper Tue 15-Sep-20 18:35:48

Fantasisa

*@giddyasakipper* - So sorry to hear that.

I think smears only check for HPV cancerous cells to begin with now - I am basing that on a thread I read on here recently and it was been welcomed as a good thing for women but the details are sketchy and I could be wrong!

Men also get HPV cancer so I'm wondering why there isn't a push for this vaccine at all age ranges even if i has to be paid for privately. It might be around efficacy as a pp suggested.


I find that very worrying! I know mine was a very rare case but surely the whole point of testing is to prevent anyone from falling through the net and being diagnosed with cancer!

PremierInn Tue 15-Sep-20 19:38:55

Men who have sex with men get the vaccine free
Boys are getting it now alongside girls the same age
I had my boys vaccinated a few years ago, before they started dating, so should have been ok
It cost ££££££ but penis cancer doesn't sound great! Also linked to mouth and throat cancers

tootyfruitypickle Tue 15-Sep-20 19:41:41

Thanks @fantasia think I’ll def do that if considering dating again .

Someonesayroadtrip Wed 16-Sep-20 16:09:18

I had a smear a couple of weeks back, I AM symptomatic of possible cervical or endometrial cancer. Was referred on ten 2 week referral pathway which hasn't turned up an appointment. Smear came back clear from HPV, which I knew as I have only had one sexual partner (my husband) and he has only had me as a sexual partner so I knew I would be clear. Even though I'm symptomatic they didn't text my cells. I'm really frustrated.

WoWsers16 Thu 17-Sep-20 07:15:29

I got diagnosed with cervical cancer a month ago- all my smears have always been clear and no HPV virus sad I'm one of the 2-5% of women to get cervical cancer without the HPV- so the new smears wouldn't even realise I have a 6cm tumour inside me sad

Someonesayroadtrip Thu 17-Sep-20 09:55:28

WoWsers16

I got diagnosed with cervical cancer a month ago- all my smears have always been clear and no HPV virus sad I'm one of the 2-5% of women to get cervical cancer without the HPV- so the new smears wouldn't even realise I have a 6cm tumour inside me sad


That's awful. How did you find out?

I do understand why they have changed but the system is broken when they dint do further testing for symptomatic women or family histories.

WoWsers16 Thu 17-Sep-20 16:38:01

I had had some blood clots and it was a bit smelly so thought it was vaginal bactinosis (sp?) turns out the smell was the cancer not getting air sad
Then I was still bleeding so they did an external and internal ultra sound scan - nothing came up- then I bled twice during sex so called straight back and went to the hospital and had a check - they thought I had too many blood cells but when they looked they could see the tumour sad turns out it's a 6cm tumour! I rang my doctor to tell her and she couldn't believe it with my smears always being clear and negative x been a terrible month xx

Someonesayroadtrip Thu 17-Sep-20 16:44:26

WoWsers16

I had had some blood clots and it was a bit smelly so thought it was vaginal bactinosis (sp?) turns out the smell was the cancer not getting air sad
Then I was still bleeding so they did an external and internal ultra sound scan - nothing came up- then I bled twice during sex so called straight back and went to the hospital and had a check - they thought I had too many blood cells but when they looked they could see the tumour sad turns out it's a 6cm tumour! I rang my doctor to tell her and she couldn't believe it with my smears always being clear and negative x been a terrible month xx


So sorry. That's awful. Glad you have diagnosis now, hope you are getting quick treatment.

WoWsers16 Thu 17-Sep-20 16:48:51

Yes treatment of chemo and radiotherapy starts in October - and just prepping bits before then- nhs have been amazing! But it is scary to think that when I would of had my smear in January 2021 if they only tested for HPV then they wouldn't know - the tumour would have grown and potentially spread by then and it could of been a different story sad

Someonesayroadtrip Thu 17-Sep-20 16:55:06

Yes, it's bonkers, I had no idea. I would normally just skim the letter but as I'm symptomatic I read it.

Wishing you loads of luck and all the best with that.

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