YMC and VMC to provide cervical cancer vaccine

YMC and VMC to provide cervical cancer vaccine
Beginning Jan. 21, Yankton Medical Clinic, P.C. and Vermillion Medical Clinic will provide female patients ages 11-18 with a free vaccine that can prevent cervical cancer through South Dakota's state vaccine program. (There will be a minimal fee for administration of the vaccine.)

The vaccine, Gardasil, can prevent about 70 percent of cervical cancer and appears to be the most effective if given to young women before they become sexually active. Gardasil, made by Merck and Co., is the first licensed vaccine for cervical cancer. It protects against human papillomavirus, or HPV types 16 and 18, which cause 70 percent of cervical cancers and types 6 and 11, which cause 90 percent of genital warts cases.

Human Papillomavirus affects both women and men. Anyone who has any kind of sexual activity involving genital contact with an infected person can get HPV – intercourse isn't necessary. Many people who have HPV may not show any signs or symptoms, so they can pass the virus on without even knowing it. HPV is easily transmitted.

Gardasil does not take the place of cervical cancer screenings (Pap tests). You should keep following your physician's professional advice on getting Pap tests. Pap tests have been proven to save lives. A Pap test looks for abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix before they have the chance to become precancerous or cervical cancer.

Like other vaccines, Gardasil works to prevent illness. That's why it's important that you talk to your daughter's physician about getting vaccinated with Gardasil. Please call Yankton Medical Clinic, P.C. or Vermillion Medical Clinic to make an appointment with your daughter's physician to discuss and receive the HPV vaccine.

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