Cervical cancer is a health issue found among sexually active females which occurs due to the transmission of human papillomavirus (HPV) into the cervical tract of the female individual. This is taken to be a serious public health issue by the World Health Organisation (WHO). 570,000 cases were reported in 2018, leading to the death of 311,000 women, making this the fourth most common form of cancer among females in the world. Affecting 79% of the countries all over the globe, this health issue can be prevented with the help of HPV vaccination to all reproductive females in the population.
Why HPV Vaccination is the best form of Prevention?
The HPV vaccination on being administered into the female human body it uses the virus-like particles (VLPs) in the body as antigens. These antigens are used to form a protective immune system to all forms of the HPV virus which may infect the body. Secondly, the lack of contraceptives or knowledge of the sexual history of the partner leads to HPV infection. Moreover, in developing countries, PAP smear tests may not be easy to administer leading the health professionals to administer a full body checkup. This becomes time-consuming. Since the HPV virus is asymptomatic in nature, the administration of HPV vaccination is a far more practical strategy.
How efficient is HPV vaccine against cervical cancer?
There is no doubt in the mind of several oncologists, that early administration of the HPV vaccine is the only solution to prevent cervical cancer in the female public. Researchers revealed infection by HPV 16 and HPV 18amounted to 10,206 cases, comprising most of the cervical cancer cases. The administration of the HPV vaccines to the population resulted in the rate of HPV infected population to decrease by 8.6% from 2004 to 2014. Another research by the National Health Service, UK revealed that the administration of the HPV vaccine decreases in pre-cancerous cells by 51% in adolescents and 31% among young adults. Moreover, the risk of HPV infection and cervical cancer decreased by 70% in first four years and 83% in eight years in teenage girls and 37% in four years and 66% in eight years for young women.
Begin administering from a young age
WHO claims that early administration of the HPV vaccine, be it Gardasil, Gardasil 9 or Cervarix, is the key to prevention and eradication of cervical cancer from the global population. Health professionals recommend to begin from an early age of 9 years instead of 20 years of age, to build up the immunity in the female human body, to use the proteins in VLPs as antigens.
Who should be administered and how much?
It is clear enough that HPV vaccines are indeed effective in preventing cervical cancer. However, the big question arises - who should be administered? How much to administered and in how many schedules? The HPV vaccine can be administered to all reproductively active girls from 9 years of age. It should be injected at a minimal dosage of 0.5 ml along with other vaccines. However, it should not be administered to pregnant mothers.
As you can clearly see, screening and HPV vaccine is the key to prevention and future eradication of risk of cervical cancer. Despite the promotion of such a vaccine for all women, there is still a lag in the administration of the same. It’s high time to move to a cervical cancer-free society. Always remember, prevention is better than cure and in this case death, and there is no other better way than HPV vaccine for cervical cancer.