Vaccine offers hope for cervical cancer prevention - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Vaccine offers hope for cervical cancer prevention

"When you become engulfed in a battle for your life... prayer becomes more important," said breast cancer survivor Sandy Patterson.

The labyrinth at the Wings Cancer Foundation helps them meditate - to find quiet in the chaos of cancer.

Today there is great hope here with the news that drug manufacturer Merck may have found a way to prevent the second most common cancer in women worldwide. Merck announced a 100-percent success rate with an experimental vaccine that could eventually wipe put the two most common causes of cervical cancer.

Local doctors call this a significant breakthrough.

"It basically means you could have a medication administered to women that would prevent the infection... if untreated would lead to cervical cancer," said Dr. Patrick Lowe, a gynecologic oncologist.

Merck says it will apply for a license to sell the drug by the end of the year.

If approved, experts expect the drug to be commonly administered to women in their teenage years before they become sexually active. The viruses that cause cervical cancer can spread through sexual contact.

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