Ground-breaking research into the impact of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine given to schoolgirls in Scotland has revealed it has almost wiped out all cases of cervical pre-cancer in young women.

And a Beith cancer victim has praised the announcement and is calling on all young girls to get the vaccination.

Laura McAdam, 33, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2016 after a routine smear test uncovered changes in her cervix despite having no symptoms.

To remove the cancer she had laser treatment, a hysterectomy and lymph nodes removed, however, due to complications she was unable to have chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment.

She doesn’t know 100 per cent that her cancer is gone or if it will not return so she has to have six monthly scans.

She spoke of how a routine smear test saved her life and how vital the research was to encourage more girls to get the HPV vaccine.

Laura said: “I wish I had got the HPV vaccine at school. The HPV virus is really where cervical cancer is coming from. If this injection they are giving at schools now is wiping this out then that is amazing news and I’m definitely all for it.

“I wouldn’t wish what has happened to me on my worst enemy.

“Although I’ve had treatment I don’t think my nightmare will ever really be over as I’ll constantly be worrying if they got all the cancer or if it’s come back.

“I would advise all girls to get vaccinated because there is proof that it works. I would also advise women to go for smear tests. It was a smear test that saved my life.”

Glasgow Caledonian University’s Senior Research Fellow Dr Kevin Pollock is one of the lead researchers in the study.

Dr Pollock said: “The conclusion is that the vaccine has exceeded expectation.

“It is associated with near elimination of both low and high grade cervical disease in young Scottish women eight years after the vaccine programme started. The uptake of the HPV vaccine in Scotland is about 90 per cent.

“The figures are impressive and show a reduction of up to 90 per cent of cervical disease abnormalities – pre-cancerous cells.

“Indeed, cervical cancer cases in women aged 20-24 have reduced by 69 per cent since 2012.”