New study: Cervical cancer in Norway may be nearly eradicated by 2039

DoctorPhoto: Javier Matheu / Unsplash
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Effective vaccines and good vaccination coverage could lead to cervical cancer being almost eradicated in 2039, a new study shows.

“Norway is set to virtually eradicate cervical cancer in 2039,” doctor and researcher Lill Trogstad at the National Institute of Public Health (FHI) noted.

The cancer is caused by a long-term HPV infection, and every year more than 300,000 women worldwide die as a result of the disease.

The HPV virus, called the human papillomavirus, is a common virus that can lead to cancer in rare cases. The cancer can be prevented with the HPV vaccine and screening tests of the cervix.

HPV vaccination program

This form of cancer could be eradicated in 18 years. Technically, that would mean that there will be fewer than four cases of cervical cancer among 100,000 women a year.

“The study shows that eliminating cervical cancer in Norway would not be possible without an HPV vaccination program for girls,” Trogstad said.

She says that the goal of eliminating the cancer would be reached as late as 2056 if only the vaccination of girls in 7th grade and cervical screening with a cell sample were to be continued.

17 years faster

Changes in the HPV vaccination program have accelerated the time needed for eliminating the cancer by eight years. 

Changes in cervical screening from cell samples to HPV tests will accelerate the time by another nine years.

“Then the goal is suddenly 17 years closer in time,” the researchers stated.

The study is a collaboration between researchers from Harvard University, the University of Oslo, NIPH, the Norwegian Cancer Registry, and the Norwegian Cancer Society in New South Wales, Australia. 

The results of the study have been published in an article in the journal Preventive Medicine.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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