HPV infections have dropped due to vaccines. Now, researchers are checking if it impacted cervical cancer rates as well. Over 10 years ago, HPV vaccines were introduced. The disease could cause cervical cancer when left untreated, which is the 3rd common cancer in women. While Pap smear reduced cervical cancer deaths in the USA, it still causes 300,000 deaths worldwide.
Experts hope the vaccine will reduce cervical cancer occurrence. Researchers can measure HPV vaccination program effects, by measuring precancerous lesion occurrence rates prior to and after this vaccine’s implementation. The lesions may appear on the penis, anus, vagina, mouth, cervix and other locations.
HPV treatments are tricky since there are over 100 different HPV strains. 40 of them are sexually transmitted, while 15 can cause cancer. Current vaccines target HPV-18 and HPV-16, which account for 70% cervical cancer incidents.
One vaccine version also defends against genital warts, recommended for children aged 11-12. Maximum ages for administration are 26 in women and 21 in men.
Researchers from Canada analyzed over 65 studies obtained from fourteen countries to measure affectivity. These findings appeared in Lancet journal. For eligibility, studies published during 2014–2018 were only selected. Before and after vaccination prevalence rates were also compared for precancerous lesions, HPV infections, and anogenital warts.
60 million people were analyzed for the research. The vaccine’s impact was also studied for up to nine years in all fields. Data were compared among different countries. It was discovered that HPV infections fell by 83% when girls were vaccinated between 13 and 19.
Reduction rates were at 66% in women aged 20 to 24. Precancerous lesions and anogenital warts had a decline of around 54% and 67% in the age range 20-24 and 15-19 respectively. Lesion occurrence fell by 51% and 31% in the age range of 15-19 and 20-24 respectively.
Men were also benefitted as anogenital wart occurrences in 15-19 and 20-24 age ranges fell by 48% and 32%. Higher benefits were observed in countries with higher coverage.
Melanie Drolet, the lead author, stated that this could eliminate cervical cancer completely. They were now studying when elimination would be complete and the screening and vaccine programs which were effective. For now, the focus is on implementing the present HPV vaccine globally.