HPV testing and vaccination
HPV testing in a cervical smear is the basis of screening for cervical cancer. This is done by scraping superficial cells from the neck of the womb with a soft brush and examining in a laboratory for high risk HPV. In the majority, the sample tests negative for high-risk HPV and no further testing is required.
When the sample tests positive for high-risk HPV, the cells scraped in the sample are then examined. If the cells appear normal, the smear is repeated after a year. Should the cells show changes of precancer, the individual is referred for colposcopy.
Screening on the NHS starts at 24.5 years of age by invitation, and then at 3 yearly intervals between the years of 25 to 49 and at 5 yearly intervals between age 50 to 64 (NHS cervical screening programme). Screening for cervical cancer stops after age 64.
How can Mr Alak Pal help
Mr Alak Pal can provide yearly cervical smears as many women prefer more frequent health checks, which is not available on the NHS. He can also provide cervical smears for women outside the age range for NHS screening, that is below age 24.5yrs and above age 64 yrs.
The HPV vaccine is recommended for all adolescents (boys and girls) in school year 8 (usually aged 12 and 13) but they remain eligible for free vaccination on the NHS until their 25th birthday. HPV vaccine does not protect against all HPV types so cervical screening remains very important.
The vaccine used is Gardasil 9 which is licensed for use from 9 years of age and provides protection against 9 HPV types: 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, 58, which are considered high risk.
What does the vaccine protect
Gardasil 9 is expected to prevent the majority of cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers and premalignant lesions, as well as HPV associated genital warts, in young women with no previous history of HPV infection. The vaccine was shown to be 99% effective at preventing pre-cancerous lesions associated with HPV types 16 and 18.
Prior infection with an HPV type does not diminish the efficacy of the vaccine against other HPV types included in the vaccine. To get the best protection, it is important that the full course of vaccination is received.
How long does the protection last
Current studies suggest that protection is maintained for at least 10 years although it is expected to last longer. Long term follow up studies are underway and will determine the need for any boosters.
How is the vaccine administered
HPV vaccine is usually administered as a 2-dose schedule at 0 and 6-24 months, any interval between doses of between 6 -24 months is clinically acceptable.
How can Mr Alak Pal help
Mr Alak Pal is able to offer HPV vaccinations outside of the national programme for individuals who may have missed it. This falls outside the national screening programme and is funded privately.
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Patient seen for : Dilation and Curettage
Dr Alak Pal was great. He made me feel comfortable and explained everything clearly, including next steps. Would recommend.
Patient seen for : Hysteroscopy
Very professional and helpful in explaining everything. Helped me make an informed decision with this vast knowledge.
Patient seen for : Total Abdominal Hysterectomy
From the initial appointment, surgery, aftercare and to my final appointment, Mr Pal was extremely professional and understanding to my particular medical circumstances. The entire abdominal hysterectomy procedure was extremely satisfactory. He spent time listening to any concerns that I had and explained clearly and simply the process surrounding the surgery. I would highly recommend him for anyone contemplating such a procedure. Additionally, post-surgical care and appointments were excellent too.
Fantastic doctor, very pleased with consultation. Thanks