Positive Impact of HPV Vaccinations
It was great to hear the news this week that there has been a dramatic drop in cervical disease following the introduction of routine HPV vaccinations 11 years ago.
The research, reported in the British Medical Journal, relates to Scotland, but there is no reason to think the findings won’t also apply to other parts of the UK where the HPV vaccinations were introduced for girls aged 12 and 13.
Researchers said the vaccine had nearly wiped out cases of cervical pre-cancer in young women, it also reported a 90% cut in pre-cancerous cells found during routine smear tests at age 20.
They described the effects of the programme as “exceeding expectations.”
The study, involving a total of 140,000 young women, is important not just in the fight against cervical cancer.
HPV or the human papillomavirus is also a leading cause of head and neck cancers which have been increasing alarmingly in recent years, particularly among men.
From September, the HPV vaccine is being extended to be given to boys aged 12 and 13 as well as girls in a bid to eradicate cancers caused by the virus which can lay dormant in the body for decades.
Let’s hope more research comes forward showing the overwhelming benefits of the HPV vaccination programme to save thousands of lives and spare thousands more from the misery of debilitating cancer treatment.