When it comes to effectively fighting cervical cancer, regular checkup and vaccination have proved to be very effective.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), over 28 000 women die every year in the WHO European Region of cervical cancer, and many more suffer long-term health consequences.
But all hope is not lost. Cervical cancer can be prevented and even cured if detected early enough. Therefore, vaccination plays a major role. In fact, WHO recommends that all girls aged 9–14 years receive 2 doses of the vaccine.
That way, it reduces the chances of being diagnosed. WHO reports that over 270 million doses of HPV vaccine have been administered worldwide so far, and the impact of the vaccine is clear.
Rapid reductions of up to 90% in HPV infections and genital warts in teenage girls and young women have been demonstrated by studies conducted in Australia, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
So, what is HPV vaccination and how is it protecting girls from cervical cancer?
Millions of girls are now able to get vaccinated against Human Papillomavirus (HPV), substantively reducing their risks of developing cervical cancer later in life.
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Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of viruses that infect the skin or various mucous membranes, such as in the mouth or cervix. Common types of sexually transmitted HPV can cause cervical cancer in women as well as genital warts and other cancers in men and women.
Studies have revealed that 80 percent of people will be infected with one or more types of the virus at some time in their lives, including boys.
Although most HPV infections in the cervix do not cause any symptoms, health experts say that the infection usually lasts 1–2 years and goes away on its own.
Therefore, preventing cancer with a vaccine is a dream come true.
Like other immunizations that guard against viral infections, HPV vaccines stimulate the body to produce antibodies that, in future encounters with HPV, bind to the virus and prevent it from infecting cells.
Therefore, studies suggest that the vaccines are effective at providing long-lasting protection.
Cancer of the cervix is the fourth most common cancer affecting women worldwide - and the second most common in lower-income regions. It is the only cancer that is almost entirely preventable through a safe, effective vaccine and screenings.