Recent congressional hearings about vaccination have caused a litany of responses from different members of the public, private, and political sectors. Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) evidence has shown that human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination has led to fewer cases of HPV-related cancers.

Cancer prevention is a valuable facet of health care—one that’s often overlooked by the general public. Further prevention tactics and education can have a marked impact on the public health. Carrying that idea forward, CDC cited updated statistics that reinforce the importance of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations and cancer screenings, particularly for cervical cancer, to help prevent future diagnoses.

Each year, nearly 300,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and was once one of the leading causes of death among U.S. women. According to data from the CDC, more than 90% of all cervical cancer cases are caused by HPV. Through proper vaccination and screening methods, cervical cancer is now one of the most preventable female cancers. The HPV vaccine is recommended for both men and women to prevent against cervical, penis, anal, and oropharynx cancers.

Current CDC guidelines note children should receive the HPV vaccine by ages 11 or 12, starting as early as nine years old. If not previously vaccinated, women aged 13 through 26 and men aged 13 through 21 should also obtain the vaccine. The CDC also recommends HPV vaccines through age 26 for individuals who are gay, bisexual, transgender, or immunocompromised and have not been previously vaccinated.