human papillomavirus, vaccines and cervical cancer prevention
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human papillomavirus, vaccines and cervical cancer prevention

Louise Cadman Senior Research Nurse, Cancer Research UK, Wolfson Institute

New vaccines to prevent cervical cancer mean healthcare professionals must be armed with information to offer to women with learning disabilities, who might otherwise miss out on the protection from cervical cancer. Louise Cadman reports

It is estimated that the National Health Service Cervical Screening Programme (NHSCSP) prevents from 1,100 to 3.900 cases of cervical cancer annually (Sasieni 1996). Health inequalities for people with learning disabilities are well recognised (Disability Rights Commission 2006). Data from Wales showed that only 13 per cent of women with learning disabilities had cervical smear tests compared with 84 per cent of the overall population (Band 1998). The uptake was as low as 3 per cent for those living with their families and 17 per cent for those in formal care.

Learning Disability Practice. 9, 9,38-39. doi: 10.7748/ldp2006.

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