Cervical cancer 'can be reduced'
10 September 2007 00:00 in Industry related health news
New treatments being developed will result in a reduction of much of the world's cervical cancer problem, according to researchers.
Cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women worldwide; in 2002 there were 500,000 incident cases and 275,000 deaths due to cervical cancer. In the UK about 3,000 women are diagnosed with the cancer each year.
Writing in the medical journal the Lancet, Professor Mark Schiffman from the US National Cancer Institute and colleagues argue that the potential for this form of cancer to fall comes from an "enlarging repertoire" of prevention options.
These include vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV), which scientists believe to be one of the causes of cervical cancer.
One of these vaccines - Gardasil - is under consideration by the Department of Health to be given to all girls aged between 12 and 13.
"Because of the importance of the [cervical cancer] problem and the feasibility of ameliorating it, we hope to see a major decrease in the numbers of women affected with this cancer within our lifetimes," the researchers conclude.
Commenting on the report, Ed Yong, Cancer Research UK's health information officer, said: "Vaccines against HPV are an exciting development and they could help to prevent about 70 per cent of cervical cancers in the future.
"But there are many questions about the vaccines that still need to be answered, including how long the immunity they provide lasts for."
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Story collated for Zenopa by the Adfero News Agency