Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35 years old. A virus called human papillomavirus (HPV) causes most cases of cervical cancer, there are many types of HPV and not all cause cancer some cause genital warts. HPV is an extremely common sexually transmitted infection that around four out of five people (80%) will have one type of during their lifetime. For younger women, the HPV vaccination can help prevent seven out of 10 cases of cervical cancer (70%). The vaccine also protects girls against 90% of genital wart cases. The vaccine, along with cervical screening when women turn 25, makes cervical cancer one of the most preventable cancers.
What you can do
This is where you can help! Teenage Cancer Trust has worked with Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust to create bespoke resources for teachers and young people around cervical cancer and ways to prevent it. We want to provide young people with expert information so they can make an informed decision about their health and we need your help to do this. There are two lesson plans designed for two year groups (year 8 and year 10), including free resources for you to share with your class.
Know the facts about the HPV vaccine
- Present a lesson about HPV, the HPV vaccine and cervical screening to help your students understand their choices.
- Encourage your students to talk about the vaccine with their parent or guardian.
The HPV vaccine
In schools, girls aged between 11 and 13 will be offered the HPV vaccine. They can have the vaccine up to the age of 18 through their GP. If they have the vaccine, it will protect them for at least 10 years against:
- HPV 16 and 18, which cause some cervical cancers (70%)
- HPV 6 and 11, which cause most genital warts (90%).
The HPV vaccine for boys
The HPV vaccine is not currently offered to boys, but it is important that they understand it. While girls having the vaccine does not directly protect boys, it does offer them herd protection. This means that the group of people who are immunised against HPV help protect those who are not.
Present a Lesson
Our resources are designed to support you and your students. They include information on HPV, the HPV vaccine, cervical screening and cervical cancer. All of our information goes through a rigorous production process to make sure it is of the highest quality. You can read more about our information production process.
You can view, order or download the resources via the links below:
- HPV video – Our video, with subtitles, about HPV.
- HPV vaccine – A poster encouraging young people to ask about the HPV vaccination.
- HPV vaccination. The facts – A mini factsheet aimed at young people.
- Lesson plans – A guide for teachers on running the session.
- Commonly asked questions about the HPV vaccine and cervical cancer – A factsheet for teachers.