Grown women, and not just girls, are able to benefit from cervical cancer vaccines, the findings of a new study suggest.
While the UK government's current immunisation programme focuses just on girls in the 12-to-13 group, a new report in the Lancet has argued that vaccines are also effective in protecting women aged between 24 and 45 from the condition.
However the potential benefits to older women are only believed to exist if the subject has not been infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) at the time of their vaccination, with this virus linked to a majority of cases of cervical cancer.
According to the report, which was written up by researchers from the National Institute of Cancer, in Bogota, Colombia, on the back of studies funded by the drug company Merck, as many as two in three women are not infected with all four strains of HPV and could therefore benefit from at least one of the vaccines currently available.
Meanwhile, a new report published by the NHS Information Centre has revealed that the number of breast cancer cases being detected in the UK has doubled over the past decade.
Independent advice on private healthcare