Published in the medical journal, The Lancet, it was found that there was a 50 percent reduction in the occurrence of pre-cancerous cells in women aged between 15 and 19, who got the HPV vaccination 5 to 10 years ago.
The HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine taken to prevent cervical cancer is more effective than previously thought and could also lead to the total elimination of cancer in the future. According to a study that was published in the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, researchers found that the more the people who receive the vaccine, the better for everyone. This is because of two primary factors - firstly, the vaccine reduces HPV infection rates and the presence of precancerous cells in people who get the vaccine and secondly it also reduces the rates of HPV-related diseases in people who have not been vaccinated yet. This herd immunity was found in countries where at least half the population received the vaccine said, researchers.
The primary reason for this was because vaccination led to fewer HPV hosts. In fact, one of the most important findings of the study is the fact that the occurrence of the pre-cancerous cells reduced by as much as 50 percent in people after 5 to 9 years of getting the vaccine. Most of these were in girls between the ages of 15 to 19, according to the study, reports Scary Mommy. There was a reduction in abnormal pap smears in people who got the vaccine.
Pap smears are tests used to detect abnormal cells found in the cervix. These can later develop into precancerous cells or cancer. Lauri Markowitz, the associate director of science for HPV at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, worked on the study. She told NBC News, “The impact of the HPV vaccination has actually exceeded expectations. The trials showed that HPV vaccines are very effective, and data from the real world has confirmed that.”
The day when cervical cancer would be totally eliminated is therefore not very far. However one of the main challenges in the way this goal is the fact that not many people go for screening for cancer. “Vaccination and screening together make a program. Very few HPV cases progress into cancer, but the only way we’re going to find those that do is through the screening program,” according to Diane Harper, senior associate director of the Michigan Institute for Clinical Health Research.
Not only in the United States but even in other countries, the rate of vaccination for cervical cancer is not something that has really picked up. The science and benefits behind screening for the disease and vaccination are all there but people seem reluctant, probably due to the ongoing and unfounded suspicion against vaccination in general or it could be simply due to the lack of knowledge. The United States was the first country to make the vaccine available to all genders.
Most of the information about HPV virus centers on women since having the virus increases their risk of getting cancer. Yet, HPV virus in men can also cause health problems and the importance of them getting vaccinated to reduce the risks of HPV infection cannot be stated enough. They can also unknowingly spread it to their sexual partners. A government panel has also recommended that HPV vaccination be given to both men and women till 26 years. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' vote in Atlanta raised the recommended vaccination age for men from 21 to 26, making it the same as the existing recommendation for women.Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.