Addressing Cervical Cancer Prevention in McLennan County, TX
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Persistent infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) is known to cause up to 99.7% of all cervical cancers. Two highly effective cervical cancer prevention methods exist – vaccination against HPV and cervical screening. Studies have documented the motivating effects of clinical intervention on preventative care compliance. Through the use of Bayesian time-series forecasting and a thorough healthcare needs assessment, this study identifies McLennan County, Texas as a candidate for population-level cervical cancer care intervention. Currently, only 54.9% of Texas residents have completed the series of HPV vaccinations, and predictive modeling anticipates stagnation in the rate of vaccination within McLennan County, a county with a high percentage of people who experience barriers to healthcare. Annual health promotions clinics that combine the services of HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening can be implemented to address this problem. Cervical cancer is an easily preventable disease, thus effective clinical strategies for its prophylaxis should be introduced to medically underserved populations of McLennan County.