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Many cases of cervical cancer in women can now be prevented by an HPV vaccine.

Every year about 11,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and almost 4,000 die from the disease. Two vaccines are available to prevent two types of human papillomavirus, which are responsible for most cases of cervical cancer, says Dr. Laurent Brard, associate professor of gynecological oncology at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.

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Dr. Brard says the vaccines prevent infection caused by HPV, but does not eradicate a cancer if an individual already has the cancer. The vaccines do not eliminate the need for Pap screenings. Women who have been vaccinated will continue to need Pap tests. He explains how the vaccine will be given.

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Dr. Brard says any woman wanting more information about the HPV vaccines for cervical cancer should check with her primary care physician or gynecologist.

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