Countries with high vaccine coverage show a large reduction in the number of HPV infections, a study has shown.
Cervical cancer is the third largest cancer affecting women and the most common cancer among women under 35, according to the Cancer Registry.
Vaccination can do something about it.
The first HPV vaccine was used more than a decade ago and scientists are now looking at the results.
Researchers at Laval University in Canada have summarized 65 studies covering fourteen countries and 60 million people.
The analysis shows a large reduction in HPV infections, genital warts and changes in cervical cells in countries that have introduced early human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination. The frequency of the most dangerous HPV variants was more than half as a result of the vaccine.
In countries with high vaccine coverage, the study also showed a large reduction in detected changes in the cells in the cervix. Among girls aged 13-19, the reduction is 57 percent, while in the age group 20-24 it is 41 percent.
The frequency of virus types not covered by the vaccine has also decreased. This shows that vaccines provide broader protection for carcinogens, according to the researcher.
"The study shows that we can effectively prevent diseases that occur after HPV infection," says researcher Marie Nigger of the Dagens Medissin Cancer Registry.
The more people take the HPV vaccine, the lower the risk of HPV infection.
Anyone taking the vaccine will reduce their own risk of HPV-related cancer and avoid the spread of HPV infection itself.
It has been happening for a long time
HPV infection is a prerequisite for the development of cervical cancer.
The high-risk HPV virus is that in some people it can cause a persistent infection that can lead to cervical cancer in the long run.
Usually, cervical cancer develops within about 10 to 30 years. HPV can cause external genital and vaginal cancers of women, cancer of the penis of men or pharynx and rectum of both sexes.
It is not certain why some of the infected people get cancer while others do not.
– 70 percent of cases of cervical cancer are gone
Norway introduced the HPV vaccine for girls 12 years of age in 2009. Nygård tells Dagens Medisin that the effect of the vaccine in Norway will become clearer over time. Both men and women can be carriers, and since the fall of 2018, boys have also been offered the HPV vaccine.
"We can expect 70 percent of cervical cancer cases to disappear," she says.
She believes that in a decade it will be possible to see a clear reduction in cancer precursors and that a decrease in the incidence of cervical cancer will occur in about 15 years.
Previous studies have also shown that the HPV vaccine has performed well.
Melanie Drolet, Elody Benard, Norma Perez, Mark Bison. Impact on the population and effects of the flock following the introduction of human papillomavirus programs: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis: Lancet. Posted June 26, 2019 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(19)30298-3