(WTNH) – The only vaccine to prevent cancer has been on the market for a number of years, but doctors are now seeing the actual generation benefiting. It’s the HPV vaccine, which can prevent cervical cancer and it’s proving to be extremely effective.

Doctor Elena Ratner, a gynecologic oncologist at Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Hospital says success is being seen as a result of Gardasil 9, the vaccine to prevent HPV, which is a sexually-transmitted disease that can lead to cancers.

“I see so few, if any now, women with cervical cancer and so much less women with precancers, and this is just the beginning,” Dr. Ratner said.

Dr. Ratner is now seeing the first generation of vaccinated young adults reaping the benefits of the vaccine that actually prevents the Human Papilloma Virus.

“It’s not just cervical cancer, it’s also anal cancer, throat cancer, and even women who don’t develop cancer dealing with precancer is very, very difficult and very traumatic,” Dr. Ratner said.

The HPV vaccine contains protection from nine different HPV strains now. HPV can not only lead to cancers, but also genital warts in both men and women.

The HPV vaccine was originally for pre-teens and teenagers, but it’s now given to women up to age 45. Dr. Ratner says some widowed or divorced patients want the protection it offers as they embark on new lives with potential new partners.

“Using HPV vaccine is so effective in not just preventing cancer, but also preventing precancer and everything else associated with it,” Dr. Ratner said.

Before the vaccine came out, Dr. Ratner says almost 90% of the population, men and women, were exposed to the HPV virus in their lifetime. The fact that she rarely sees the type of cancer it causes says a lot about the vaccine.