Letter: Cancer screening

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The Independent Culture
Letter: Cancer screening

Sir: I should like to point out that a research paper from Copenhagen, in The Lancet (5 January, 1985) showed that women aged 40 who had not had measles as children had six times the incidence of cervical cancer when compared with a similar group of women who had had full-blown measles as children.

This research points to the suspicion that immunising children against measles may lead to a large increase in the incidence of cervical cancer in the decades to come (and other serious and chronic illnesses referred to in the same paper), which will make any problems with the cervical cancer screening programme very minor in comparison. Unfortunately, the possible long-term effects on health - of this and other childhood immunisations - just have not been researched properly, no long-term tests having been carried out on any of them!

DR ROBERT BLOMFIELD

Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire

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