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Cervical Cancer Jabs for School Girls in UK

Update Date: Sep 03, 2012 12:46 PM EDT

With the reopening of schools, girls in the UK are being encouraged to receive all three doses of the cervical cancer shot (or gardasil) administered starting this week.

The new injection will also protect them against genital warts, reports Associated Press.

Gardasil protects against two strains of the human Papillomavirus (HPV) virus - 16 and 18, which are the cause behind 70 percent of cervical cancer cases. It is also responsible for the strains that cause lesions and genital warts.

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The administration of the injection from Sanofi Pasteur, was announced last year by ministers. It would be replacing the vaccine Cervarix, made by GlaxoSmithKline, from the start of term.

Cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer in women around the world.

Although the cancer develops slowly and there are hardly any symptoms during the initial stage of its development, it can be diagnosed early with regular Pap Smears and is 100 percent treatable.

According to a public medical health Web Site, a woman's sexual habits and patterns could put her at an increased risk for cervical cancer. Having sex at an early age or having multiple sexual partners are some of the factors that contribute to the risk.

Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust has called for girls to take up the vaccine.

"It's important that everyone involved in the programme, including those delivering it locally, does everything possible to remind girls who are no longer in year eight but aged 17 and below that they can still have the vaccine on the NHS," Director of the charity, Robert Music, was quoted as saying by Associated Press.

"Vaccination for HPV can prevent infection from two of the highest risk strains of HPV that cause 70% of cervical cancer. So we urge young women to take up the opportunity to have all three doses of the vaccination," he added.

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