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New Mexico study shows HPV vaccine preventing cancer

Erica Zucco
October 24, 2016 07:51 AM

A new study out of New Mexico is showing promising numbers for a vaccine to reduce cervical cancer.

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Researchers are still working to learn the causes of many cancers.

But one kind of cancer is known to have a cause: human papillomavirus , or HPV, causes almost all cases of cervical cancer.

That's why our state is studying whether more kids vaccinated against HPV means fewer cancer patients.

"New Mexico sets itself aside from the rest of the United States by being the only state who has this type of surveillance program that results from a partnership between the University of New Mexico and the New Mexico Department of Health," said Dr. Cosette Wheeler of the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center.

A new report by Dr. Wheeler's research team showed that with each year since HPV vaccinations began, fewer women have had "cervical abnormalities"- which include cells that could lead to cancer.

The study found that the younger the women, the more significant the decrease. Dr. Wheeler says that's because as time goes on, larger numbers of young women are getting the vaccine.

Her takeaway: "It is very beneficial to vaccinate and still, the same message is the same it's been from the beginning," said Wheeler.

But now, she says, there are more numbers to back that message up.

Credits

Erica Zucco

Copyright 2016 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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