Mums reminded to protect their daughters

NHS Devon is offering South Hams teenagers the chance to protect themselves against cervical cancer.

The HPV vaccine consists of three injections given over a six-month period. All three doses must be given to provide protection.

The immunisation is normally given in schools and colleges, but NHS Devon is also holding community clinics for girls who for some reason did not manage to get their vaccination in school or college.

The community clinics are specifically to provide a venue for older girls no longer attending school or college but school age girls can also attend. Girls who are 18 and 19 years old must start their course before  31 August 2010 in order to complete it through the NHS.

Dr Virginia Pearson, director of public health for NHS Devon, said:

"Cervical cancer is one of the biggest killers of women in their 30s, so I urge all parents to ensure their daughters are protected at an early age.

"Infection with some types of HPV can cause abnormal tissue growth and other changes to cells, which can lead to cervical cancer.

"Almost one in every 100 women develops cervical cancer and more than 1,000 women die from it each year in the UK but it is the most preventable form of cancer."

All clinics are by appointment only and to book an appointment or for further advice, contact NHS Devon’s immunisation team on 01392 208 469.

Clinic dates and times:

Totnes hospital – Tue 15 June (5pm – 8pm)

Ivybridge – South Dartmoor Leisure Centre – Thu 17 June (5pm – 8pm) / Thu 29 July (5pm – 7pm) / Thu 26 August (5pm – 7pm)