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Global Review Of 26 Studies Shows HPV Vaccine Is Safe And Effective In Preventing Cervical Cancer

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A study has found that the HPV vaccine is safe and effective in preventing cervical cancer. The study examined results of previous studies to show that the HPV vaccine doesn't cause serious side effects.  ( Orlando Sierra | AFP/Getty Images )

A review of 26 different studies found that human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines are effective in protecting women from cervical lesions. These lesions appear before cervical cancer develops in women.

The review found that HPV vaccines help women who were vaccinated between the age of 15 and 26.

HPV Vaccine Effective

Cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer found in women around the world, according to CNN. The review of the HPV vaccine was conducted by the Cochrane Review. Researchers found that there was no increase in the risk of serious side effects: only around 7 percent reported in groups that were vaccinated and were not.

For the review, researchers analyzed evidence from 26 previous studies on the HPV vaccine, which followed more than 73,000 women. Most people who have sexual relations will be exposed to HPV during their lifetimes. Women can clear the infection naturally, but a persistent infection causes cervical precancer, which could then lead to cancer.

Most of the women in the study were between the ages of 15 and 26. There were three trials that featured women from ages 25 to 45. They looked at the evidence provided for two different types of vaccines: the bivalent vaccine, which targets HPV16 and HPV18, the quadrivalent vaccine, which targets HPV16 and HPV18 and two other types of HPV, which cause genital warts.

There was no data available on a new type of HPV vaccine that targets nine different types of HPV.

Researchers found that about 164 out of every 10,000 women who were given a placebo developed cervical lesions. Only two out of every 10,000 women who were vaccinated developed cervical lesions.

They also found that HPV vaccine was proven to be slightly less effective when taking all the women in the studies into account. It did manage to reduce cervical lesions from 559 per 10,000 to 391 per 10,000.

According to the World Health Organization, HPV is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths among women worldwide. Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women who are living in less developed regions.

There are different types of HPV, and not all strains are responsible for causing women to develop cervical cancer. HPV16 and HPV18 strains are the cause of around 70 percent of all cervical cancer cases in the world.

Scientists believe that further research is required to evaluate possible rare side effects from the vaccine and long-term effectiveness in keeping cervical cancer at bay.

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