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Four Types of Vaccines for Cancer Prevention

Vaccination has been a way of life for years, protecting us from fatal diseases like measles and mumps. While there’s no combined vaccine for all types of cancer, vaccines now exist for certain cancer types.

Here are the four known types of vaccines to help prevent certain cancer types:

  1. Sipuleucel-T

It is an immunotherapy treatment for prostate cancer. The vaccine was the first one to be approved by the U.S. Administration of Food and Drug (FDA). 

For the vaccine to work, white blood cells are removed through leukapheresis and reactivated by being exposed to a protein from cancer cells then clued-up to activate the immune system ready to destroy cancer cells.

The treatment is administered in 3 infusions weekly for six weeks.

  1. Bacille Calmette-Guerin(BCG)

They are used to treat bladder cancer. The vaccine is administered right into the bladder instead of mouth or injection through the blood veins.

It works the same way as Sipuleucel-T by restarting the immune system to find and destroy cancer cells.

It does not require white blood cells like Sipuleucel-T.

It is administered once per week for six weeks.

  1. Hepatitis B Vaccine (Prophylactic vaccine)

It is a preventive vaccine for liver cancer.

It is suitable for children to receive them immediately at birth.

The Hepatitis B vaccine for liver cancer was the first FDA approval in 1981.

  1. HPV vaccine (human papillomavirus vaccine)

The vaccine is used to prevent HPV related cancers.

The vaccine is designed to fight against the infections Gardasil, Gardasil 9, and Cervarix. The HPV vaccine prevents cervical, vaginal, anal, and penile cancers.

The most common sexually transmitted infection is HPV, with more than 100 types.

Note that being infected by HPV does not necessarily mean it is cancer. Only persistent infections are harmful. That’s why it’s best discuss these options with your doctor to see if you or a family member would benefit from any of these vaccines.

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