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Will cervical cancer be eradicated worldwide in the next few decades?

Will cervical cancer be eradicated worldwide in the next few decades?


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Breakthrough in the treatment of cervical cancer?

Will we be able to completely eliminate cervical cancer in the near future? Researchers have developed a vaccine that they suspect will practically eliminate cervical cancer in many countries within three decades. By the end of the century, cervical cancer would have been completely eradicated in most other countries around the world.

In their latest investigation, scientists from the Cancer Council New South Wales found that a newly developed vaccine could lead to the complete elimination of cervical cancer worldwide. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "The Lancet Oncology".

Screening and vaccinations could prevent millions of deaths

Over the next 50 years, more than 44 million women are likely to develop cervical cancer because they did not participate in screening or vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV). Experts claim that two thirds of these cases and an estimated 15 million deaths are expected in low and middle income countries. The rapid use of screening and vaccinations from 2020 could prevent more than 13 million cervical cancers worldwide by the middle of the century. Such treatment could also reduce the number of cases to less than four per 100,000 women, the scientists report.

In 2018 there were 570,000 new cases of cervical cancer

At the beginning of this month, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 570,000 new cases of the disease worldwide in 2018. This makes cervical cancer the fourth most common cancer in women after breast, colon and lung cancer. The disease kills more than 300,000 women every year, mostly in low-income countries.

What are human papilloma viruses?

Despite the scale of the problem, the results suggest that worldwide cervical cancer removal is within reach, says study author Professor Karen Canfell of the Cancer Council New South Wales. To achieve this goal, both high coverage of HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening are needed. HPV is sexually transmitted and is very common and includes more than 100 types of viruses, at least 14 of which are carcinogenic. The viruses have also been linked to cancer of the anus, vulva, vagina and penis. It takes 15 to 20 years for cervical cancer to develop in women with normal immune systems. If the immune system is weak or impaired, for example due to an HIV infection, the cancer can develop much faster.

Vaccines are effective against the largest strains of HPV

Clinical studies have shown that HPV vaccines effectively protect against the two HPV strains (types 16 and 18), which are responsible for 70 percent of cervical cancer cases. The doctors demand that from 2020 around 80 percent of girls between the ages of 12 and 15 will be vaccinated. At least 70 percent of women should also have an exam twice during their life. This would push the disease's prevalence by 2059 by 4 per 100,000 women in countries like the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and France (in middle-income countries like Brazil and China by 2069), the authors calculated. (as)

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Video: Cervical cancer elimination possible within two decades in the. (January 2023).