Cancer breakthrough hailed “historic moment” for women. The vaccine has cut the rate of cervical cancer by 90 %.
13 years ago the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine was rolled out for teenage girls across the UK. A new study shows that the vaccine has cut the rate of cervical cancer by nearly 90 per cent for women in their 20s. These women would have been offered the jab when they were either 12 or 13 years old.
The study was published in the Lancet.
Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, explained: “It’s a historic moment to see the first study showing that the HPV vaccine has and will continue to protect thousands of women from developing cervical cancer.
“Cancer Research UK has been funding research in this area for many years and we’ve been eagerly awaiting these results since the introduction of the vaccination programme.
“Around 850 women die from cervical cancer each year in the UK, so we have the chance to save many lives.”
Professor Peter Sasieni from King’s College London was the lead author of the study. He commented on the real-life impact that the vaccine has had.
He stated: “It’s been incredible to see the impact of HPV vaccination, and now we can prove it prevented hundreds of women from developing cancer in England.
“We’ve known for many years that HPV vaccination is very effective in preventing particular strains of the virus, but to see the real-life impact of the vaccine has been truly rewarding.
“Assuming most people continue to get the HPV vaccine and go for screening, cervical cancer will become a rare disease.
“This year we have already seen the power of vaccines in controlling theCOVID-19 pandemic.
“These data show that vaccination works in preventing some cancers.”
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