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Mother's Plea to Parents to Give Daughters Life Saving Vaccine

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7:00am 7th February 2013

Pirate FM has learnt less than half of schoolgirls in Cornwall have had a vaccine that can prevent cervical cancer.

Now new adverts are being rolled out - aimed at parents of the twelve to thirteen to year olds who have not had the HPV jab.

There are several strains of the Human Papilloma Virus that are transmitted sexually and these are known to cause cervical cancer.

The national vaccine programme is designed to give girls protection against certain strains of the viruses before they are exposed to them, so it is offered routinely by GPs to girls aged 12 and 13 although it is available up to the age of 17.

Sandra Cousins from Penzance lost her twenty-five year old daughter, Mercedes. She said: "Cervical cancer is termed 'the silent killer.' It's very aggressive. I can not explain what it's like. You just would not want to experience this, for what a vaccination can prevent.

"I can only scream at people to ring up your GP, make an appointment, talk it over with your teenage daughter."

She now runs the Mercedes Curnow Foundation, campaigning to raise awareness and detect the signs earlier.

Dr Kerry Bailey, Public Health consultant, said: ““It is given before girls become sexually active, which is why the Government programme targets Year 8 girls. Without the vaccine, they are more likely to develop cervical cancer so we would encourage all girls aged 12 to 17 who have not yet completed the course of three vaccines to do so as soon as possible.

“Around 900 women die of cervical cancer in England each year, highlighting the importance of routine screening. In future, the vaccine may reduce the need for regular screening but for the time being screening is the best way for women have any pre-cancerous cells on the cervix detected.”

You can get more information about the jab here.

7:00am 7th February 2013

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