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Information for teachers

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 4 out of 5 people (80%) will have 1 type of teenage cancer trust lesson plansduring their lifetime. For younger women, the HPV vaccination can help prevent 7 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 2 year groups (year 8 and year 10), including free resources for you to share with your class.

“I was diagnosed with cervical cancer through a smear test in January 2009...The diagnosis was unbearable and the fear of cancer is totally consuming, all you and your love ones can think about is the disease. I have two daughters Lucy and Evie, Lucy is in year 7 and will soon be offered the HPV vaccination. I am so pleased that my daughters have the opportunity to reduce their risk of this awful disease, I wouldn’t wish anyone to go through what I have. It is so important that more parents and girls understand what the vaccine is for and that it can reduce their risk of cervical cancer.”

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 most cervical cancers (70%)
  • HPV 6 and 11, which cause most genital warts (90%).

The HPV vaccine for boys

In July 2018, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended that boys should also be offered the HPV vaccine. England, Scotland and Wales have confirmed they will extend the programme to boys, with timings to be confirmed. 

Even though boys are not currently offered the HPV vaccine, it is important they understand it. Girls having the vaccine does not directly protect boys, but it does offer them herd protection. This is when the group of people who are immunised against HPV help protect those who are not.

We have more information about the HPV vaccine for boys.

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:

        - Commonly asked questions about the HPV vaccine and cervical cancer – A factsheet for teachers.

        - Do you know the symptoms of cervical cancer? – A visual aid for young people.
        - HPV and cancer – A factsheet for teachers and young people.

Order HPV Vaccine Information

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Date last updated: 
10 Aug 2018