Cervical Cancer Vaccination (CERVARIX)
Cervical cancer is cancer originating from the cervix. It occurs when normal cells in the cervix change into cancer cells. Cervical cancer is caused by a common virus known as human papillomavirus or HPV. There are little or no symptoms in the early stages of the cancer. In the late stages of the cancer, symptoms observed may be abnormal bleeding from vagina, pain during sex, smelly vagina discharge, new bleeding in post-menstrual women. It is important to take note that all women who have a sexual relationship are at risk of HPV infection. Most infected individuals do not know that they are infected and may unknowingly spread the virus.
Cervical Cancer Vaccination (Cervarix) lowers the likelihood of getting cervical cancer. However, the vaccination does not prevent you from all types of HPV virus or protect against any HPV infection you may already have. Therefore, it is important that you go for regular PAP smear examinations even if you are vaccinated. The characteristics of the vaccine are shown in the following table.
With effect from 1 November 2010, patients can use up to $400 per Medisave account per year under the Medisave400 scheme to pay for HPV vaccination. Patients can use their own Medisave or that of their immediate family members (e.g. parents or spouse) to help pay for the vaccination. The deductible and co-payment rules will not apply for HPV vaccinations.
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