Native News Network Staff in Native Health Discussion »
WASHINGTON Just three shots can reduce the risk of cervical cancer. But a researcher says girls and young women - including those ages 9 to 18, who would get the most benefit - are not getting all the shots within the recommended six months. Abby Berenson of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and her team looked at data on about 272,000 girls and women who got the first dose.
"Many patients have received one vaccine but not completed all three doses. We recommend that all patients take steps to complete the three-dose series."
Experts say the three-dose series is known to work; they don't know if one or two doses will.
Preteen vaccine recommendations are supported by the Indian Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Society for Adolescent Medicine.
“There is a common perception that check-ups are only for infants, but this isn't true,”
said Dr. Michael Bartholomew, a member of the Kiowa Tribe and chief of pediatrics at the Fort Defiance Indian Hospital in Arizona.
“Eleven and 12 year olds also need a check-up to ensure that they stay healthy as they enter their adolescent years.”
The study in the journal Cancer was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
posted July 28, 2012 7:30 am edt