Patient education needed for HPV vaccines, cancer screenings

Gardasil and Cervarix both protect women against common types of HPV, but other, less common strains of the disease still present a threat of infection that could eventually lead to cancer. That why women who've received an HPV vaccine still need to receive regular cervical cancer screenings.

However, research presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society of Academic Primary Care in the U.K. shows that many girls and their parents are misinformed about the need for continued cervical cancer screenings after getting an HPV shot. Dr. Alison Clements, who led the research, found that many patients got the HPV shot because they believed future screenings would be unnecessary. She concludes that more information needs to be provided to patients and parents in order for them to make informed decisions about receiving the vaccine.

"To ensure the uptake of cervical screening is not adversely affected, future invitations for screening will need to stress the importance of attendance regardless of whether the individual has had the HPV vaccination or not," explained Dr. Clements.

- here's the report for more