Vaccinating girls can protect them against cervical cancer

Hindustan Times

India

June 2, 2009

Sanchita Sharma , Hindustan Times
Seoul, June 01, 2009

Vaccines against the human papillomavirus (HPV) that causes more than 99 per cent of all cervical cancers have to be made cheaper to enable developing countries to make them part of routine immunisation programmes, said cancer experts and scientists from the World Health Organisation (WHO). Cervical cencer is the number one cancer among women in India, affecting 1.3 lakh women each year.

Globally,¬† 5 lakh women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, of which half — 2.5 lakh, one woman every two minutes — die.

Currently, 25 countries — all developed — offer funding for HPV vaccination that offers protection against 70 per cent of the HPV viruses that cause cervical cancer, which is the second most cancer in the world after breast cancer.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease and infects one in 10 women worldwide. Of the over HPV 100 strains, two — HPV 16 and HPV 18 — cause over 70 per cent cases of cervical cancer, followed by HPV 45, 53 and 58.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease and infects one in 10 women worldwide. Of the over HPV 100 strains, two — HPV 16 and HPV 18 — cause over 70 per cent cases of cervical cancer, followed by HPV 45, 53 and 58.

“HPV is essential to get cervical cancer. Now two vaccines — Merck’s quadrivalent vaccine Gardasil (against HPV 6,11,16 and 18) and GSK’s bivalent vaccine Cervarix (against 16, 18) — offer almost complete protection against the most dangerous strains. They need to be made available cheaper to make them affordable to developing countries, who need them the most,” said Dr John Clemens, director general, of the Internatioal Vaccine Institute, which is hosting an international symposium on HPV vaccination in the Asia Pacific and the Middle-Eastern Regions. Almost 80 per cent cervical cancer seaths take place in developing countries.

In April this year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended hat HPV vaccination be made part of routine immunisation programmes.

“WHO recommended three doses of HPV vaccine be given to girls between the ages of 10 and 13 years just before the age of sexual initiation.

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Comment from Leslie

And the vaccine march moves on to majority world countries.

PG

Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.