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Muted welcome for cancer vaccine

Monday, October 10, 2005

A vaccine shown to be 100% effective against two virus strains that cause most cervical cancer could be available within a year, say manufacturers.
This comes as good news to the Caribbean where the rate of cervical cancer deaths is approximately 33 per 100,000 the highest in the Americas.The vaccine Gardasil should be available within a year.
However, senior medical experts don't believe this will be a cure all for the region.Bringing down the high rates is the focus of a programme of prevention and control that's run by the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC) in conjunction with governments in the region.
Dr Glennis Andall-Brereton, who manages that programme, said the vaccine is welcome, but until the vaccine actually reaches the Caribbean, there is still a lot of work to be done.
She reported that women in the region are still not as educated as they should be, about getting pap smears, the standard test for abnormal cell changes in the womb.

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