The research shows that the HPV vaccination along with cervical cancer screening reduces the infection to an extent where no one develops the cancer.
A breakthrough research, sponsored by the Cancer Research UK, has clinically established that the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which was developed to protect women against cervical cancer is successful in reducing the risk of cancer by 62 per cent in women aged between 14 and 16 years.
The vaccine similarly was successful in minimising the risk of the disease by 34 per cent in women aged between 16 and 18 years. The research which has been published in the Lancet journal took into account all cervical cancer women patients aged between 20 and 64 years diagnosed in the United Kingdom between January 2006 and June 2019. The findings of the research are significant due to the fact that since the vaccine’s introduction in the early 2000s only few recent studies have confirmed the efficacy of the vaccine against cervical cancer.
The research shows that the HPV vaccination along with cervical cancer screening reduces the infection to an extent where no one develops the cancer. The research also showed that over a period of 11 years since 2006, the vaccine played a major role in preventing around 450 cases of cervical cancers and over 17k cases of precancerous conditions. Buoyed by the successful results of the vaccine, the Health department of the United Kingdom extended the administration of the vaccine also to boys aged about 12-13 years old in 2018.
What is Human papillomavirus (HPV)?
It is a kind of virus which has more than 100 of its types. As per the National Cancer Institute (NCI) sexual contact is the reason for the spread of more than 40 types of HPV. The HPC causes genital warts, cervical, anal, oropharyngeal, penile, vulvar and vaginal cancer. The HPV vaccine which is being administered in the United Kingdom protects against two major strains of the HPC- HPV 16 and 18.
Symptoms of Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Most infected people do not develop any symptoms after contracting the disease and remain completely unaware of their condition. In most of the infection cases, the immune system of the body clears the virus out making the disease harmless. However, the virus can sometimes take many years before it shows its severe symptoms.
HPV vaccination and cervical cancer occurence in India
The HPV vaccine is primarily administered to young boys and girls in their teenage years to ensure that they are vaccinated against the disease before they make any sexual contact. An Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention study has found that the primary hindrance to HPV vaccination is financial as the vaccines are expensive.
As per the guidelines of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Immunization (IAPCOI) HPV vaccines are administered in the form of a two-dose regimen for girls below 14 years of age. For girls who are aged above 15, the vaccine is to be administered in a three-dose regimen.
The same study also found that India contributed about 27 per cent of total cervical cancer cases in the world. More than 77 percent cases of cervical cancer in India are caused by HPV 16 and 18. Officially, the HPV vaccine has not been recommended for boys and males in India.