New milestones in cervical cancer prevention - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New milestones in cervical cancer prevention

June 15, 2006

Valdosta - Ten women die every day in America from cervical cancer.  So it's exciting news that the FDA has approved a vaccine to prevent the virus that can cause cervical cancer.  Now doctors are faced with the challenge of getting the word out to all young women this could affect.

Gardasil is the newest advance in women's health.  The vaccine was tested on more than 20,000 young women over a four year period.

The results marked yet another milestone in cancer research.  "There will be a 70 percent reduction in new cases of cervical cancer each year," said Southern OB/GYN Physician Dr. Alex Culbreth.

Cervical caner is the most common cancer caused by a virus.  The virus kills almost 300 thousand women worldwide each year.  Each day that passes is a day more women could become infected with HPV.

Spreading news about the vaccine is the best way to save lives.  "We just want to get the word out because it is something very new and exciting in women's health and we want to get as many women as we can to know about this," says Paula Bennett, a nurse practitioner at Southern OB/GYN.

More than 500 million women worldwide are eligible to receive Gardasil.  The vaccine is currently in the early manufacturing stages and will be available in the next few weeks.

And for woman who have cervical cancer, the FDA approved a new drug for treatment of it. Hycamtin, when used with another drug, cisplatin, can be used to treat late-stage cervical cancer. While it's not a cure, it can prolong a woman's life.

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