The human papillomavirus (HPV) shots given to women in Australia successfully reduces the risk of cervical cancer.

An analysis of data related to cervical cancer screening obtained from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) showed that detection of the disease has decreased in women less than 24 years.

The reports suggest that in 2011 around 682 new cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed in Australia and in 2012 about 143 women died of the disease. These numbers equate to just 9 to 10 cases of cervical cancer and just 2 cervical cancer related deaths per 100,000 women per year.

Reports suggest that cervical cancer related deaths and incidences reduced between the introduction of the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) in 1991 and 2002. The data also revealed increased participant in 2012 - 2013 as over 3.8 million women participated in the NCSP.

Justin Harvey, a spokesperson for AIHW also revealed that the detection of grade abnormalities was also historically low in females under 20 years and between 20 and 24 years in 2013.

"This is largely due to the introduction of the National Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Program in schools for young girls in 2007-and subsequent extension to teenage boys-as vaccination can prevent infection of cervical cells with HPV that lead to abnormalities," says Harvey.

Medical experts believe that cervical cancer is preventable by vaccination and regular screening as most cervical cancer reflects precancerous stages, which may last for several years before developing into an invasive disease.

Early detection with the help of regular screening will allow doctors to start early treatment and save the life of the person in danger.

Cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women. Even though cervical cancer screening is available, which is commonly known as Pap smear test, many women do not want to take the test due to its invasive nature.

A previous report revealed that more than 8 million women in the U.S. skipped Pap tests in the last five years. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) previously reported that very few women from several ethnic backgrounds such as American Indian, Asians, Alaskan Natives and Pacific Islanders took the Pap test. The report also highlighted that Pap tests helps in saving the lives of over 4,500 women each year.

Medical experts suggest that all women between the age of 18 and 70 years should undergo a Pap test every two years.

Photo: Ed Uthman | Flickr

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