Alex Davenport has been a gynecologist for 30 years and says one thing that's always tough for patients is finding out about irregular pap smears.
Sometimes they mean the patient has human papiloma virus, which can lead to cervical cancer.
"It's very stressful for a lot of women. Frequently there's no good solution. They just have to live with it," said Davenport.
Now some of that stress will be alleviated. The FDA just approved the first vaccine to protect against most cervical cancers.
Davenport says, "If we can prevent HPV, not only do we prevent cancer, but we prevent all the preliminary changes."
The medical advancement brings new hope to cancer patients.
"This gives us hope that there are more advancements still coming. Prevention is a glorious word, and I think that's the number one way to approach cancer," said cancer survivor Rose Naff.
Davenport says it’s been a long time coming.
"I've been hoping for this for a long time and I think it’s a great new tool. It's always nice to have a new tool."
The vaccine called Gardisil helps in the prevention of cervical cancer and genital warts, but it does not treat those diseases.
Patients will need three doses of the vaccine, which can cost $300 to $500 altogether. Doctors say it's still not a substitute for routine cervical cancer screenings.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.