KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — Research shows that the HPV vaccine and screening can effectively eliminate cervical cancer in most countries by the end of the century.
The Guardian reported Australian researchers found that up to 13.4 million cervical cancer cases could be prevented in the next 50 years through widespread vaccine and HPV screening coverage in every country around the world.
By 2100, that would reduce the world’s caseload to less than four new cases in 100,000 women, which is considered the effective elimination of the cancer that currently kills above 300,000 women annually around the world.
According to the research published in The Lancet Oncology journal, a slower scale-up of vaccination and screening from 2020 to 2050 would eliminate cervical cancer in the most developed countries, but countries with medium levels of development would have 4.4 cases per 100,000, while nations with low levels of development would have 14 cases per 100,000 by the end of the 21st century.
But if nothing is done, 600,000 women are reportedly estimated to get cervical cancer in 2020, going up to 1.3 million annually by 2069 because of an expanding and ageing population.
“More than 44 million women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in the next 50 years if primary and secondary prevention programmes are not implemented in LMICs,” said the researchers, referring to low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs).
“If high coverage vaccination can be implemented quickly, a substantial effect on the burden of disease will be seen after three to four decades, but nearer-term impact will require delivery of cervical screening to older cohorts who will not benefit from HPV vaccination.”
Professor Karen Canfell from the Cancer Council New South Wales, who led the study, reportedly said Australia was on track to eliminate cervical cancer by 2035, with rates dropping below four per 100,000 women a year within the next two decades.
The Guardian reported that developed nations like United Kingdom, Finland, United States, and Canada would be able to eliminate cervical cancer by 2055 to 2059.
Researchers noted that cervical screening and vaccination was low in low-income and middle-income countries, though it has been implemented in most high-income nations.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) last year called for the elimination of cervical cancer and urged global action to scale-up vaccination and screening among other efforts.