New research has recently confirmed the HPV vaccine has saved hundreds of lives from cervical cancer.
This research is the first-ever proof of the HPV vaccine as a successful programme to reduce cervical cancer rates in the UK. The study found that the rate of cervical cancer was 87% lower in women offered the HPV vaccine, compared to unvaccinated women.
The study looked at data from women in their 20’s who had been vaccinated between the ages of 12 and 13. Even though cervical cancer tends to be rare for women in their 20’s, cases plummeted from 50 per year to just 5.
The HPV vaccine also reduced cervical cancer cases in women who were in their late teens when the vaccine was first rolled out in 2008.
Cervical cancer cases dropped by:
- • 64% in women vaccinated between the ages of 14 and 16
- • 34% in women vaccinated between the ages of 16 and 18
The study was published in the Lancet medical journal and funded by Cancer Research UK. Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK chief executive said:
“Results like this show the power of science. It’s a historic moment to see the first study showing that the HPV vaccine has and will continue to protect thousands of women from developing cervical cancer.”
The study also found a decrease in pre-cancerous changes to cells by:
- • 97% in women vaccinated between the ages of 12 and 13
- • 75% in women vaccinated between the ages of 14 and 16
- • 39% in women vaccinated between the ages of 16 and 18
Without the vaccine, experts believe close to 36,000 women could have been affected by pre-cancerous changes.
Researchers estimate that the HPV vaccine rollout has prevented around 450 cancers and 17,200 pre-cancers in the UK.
Using the HPV vaccine to eliminate cervical cancer worldwide
It’s now possible that cervical cancer could become a rare disease thanks to the HPV vaccine and consistent screening.
Around 9 in 10 deaths from cervical cancer are in low- and middle-income countries with very little access to screening campaigns. Hopefully, with the proven success of the HPV vaccine, it can be administered to girls across those countries to make an even more significant impact on worldwide cancer rates.
The Worldwide Health Organization has set goals to work towards eliminating cervical cancer worldwide. They are calling for 90% of girls to be fully vaccinated with the HPV vaccine by the age of 15 and 70% of women to be screened by the age of 35, and again by 45.
The power of prevention and early detection
Prevention and early detection are the best defences we have against cancer.
To help enable earlier detection, we are working hard to make our PanTum Detect test available in the UK. We are currently discussing potential partnerships with labs and clinics around the UK.
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