Cervical cancer could disappear

Sept. 25, 2009 at 3:47 PM
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BERLIN, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Newer, more accurate, screening combined with a program of human papilloma vaccination could eradicate cervical cancer, a British researcher said.

Jack Cuzick of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine in London said new vaccines promise to protect against nine types of HPV, so eventually there will be no need to screen women who have been vaccinated.

"It's important to say up front that the HPV is responsible for all cervix cancer," Cuzick said in a statement. "If you can eradicate the virus, the cancer will not appear."

Current HPV vaccines protect against two cancer-causing strains of the HPV virus, but soon there would be vaccines available that protect against nine types.

If vaccination were to be combined with HPV screening, which is much more sensitive than the currently used Pap smear test, then eventually the cancer would disappear in those countries that had successfully implemented national programs, Cuzick said.

If the prevention program is thoroughly implemented, cervical cancer could disappear in about 50 years, Cuzick told the joint 15th Congress of the European CanCer Organization and 34th Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology in Berlin.

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