Blacks have trouble clearing cervical cancer virus

CHICAGO (AP) -- New research might help explain why black women are so much more likely than whites to develop and die from cervical cancer.

The research finds that blacks seem to have more trouble clearing HPV, the virus that causes the disease.

Researchers have long thought that less access to health care makes blacks more vulnerable to cervical cancer. But the new study suggests that there might also be a biological reason.

Doctors say that if other research confirms that finding, the HPV vaccine would become even more important for black women. The vaccine is recommended for all girls starting at age 11.

The study involved students at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Results were discussed Sunday at an American Association for Cancer Research conference in Chicago.

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