The number of cervical cancer diagnoses and deaths in the UK is expected to rise sharply over the next two decades among women over the age of 50, according to a new study, even though the number of deaths from the disease among vaccinated young people can almost be eradicated.
HPV Jab is changing the outlook for cervical cancer in women living in 12 and 13 countries, giving priority to sexual activity and reducing deaths in developing countries.
A study published in the lancet public health journal suggests that by 2040, the UK could be 75 per cent less likely to be vaccinated than younger women today. When the program was launched in 2008, the number of cervical cancer deaths under the age of 17 would almost disappear.
But for older women who have never been vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV), there are still problems that cause most cervical cancer. About 60 percent of women have HPV at some point. The most obvious is their system, but for women who had HPV before, the vaccine was not good.
It is estimated that diagnosis and mortality will increase in the 50-64 age group. Epidemiologists at queen Mary university in London say the number of cases will increase by 62 percent. That could increase the death toll from 183 in 2015 to 449 in 2040.
Dr Queen Alejandra Castanon said: “the main reason is that the population is ageing, and women aged 25-40 are not currently benefiting from vaccination – and their HPV infection is very old.” Mary, one of the authors.
Sexual intercourse between the ages of 25 and 40, especially with multiple partners, makes them more susceptible to sexually transmitted infections. “Unfortunately, the increased risk of HPV infection in unvaccinated people born after 1960 suggests that current screening coverage is not sustainable – reducing the risk of cervical cancer over the next 20 years -” the paper said.
Even among unvaccinated women, cervical cancer can now be considered harmless. Older women are more likely to feel safe, especially if they have a long-term partner. As a result, fewer women will be screened – but infections will take at least 10 years to cause cancer.
The study, funded by Joe’s cervical cancer trust, the authors and charities, says more needs to be done to improve screening rates – and more accurate screening methods – to detect HPV infections – than planned for 2019.
Robert Music, chief executive of the trust, said: “this study should be a wake-up call to action and the decline in cervical screening attendance will kill people of all ages and probably not happen. As older women age and risk, it is important to explore changes in programs to reduce this risk, including raising the screening age from 64 to self-testing.
In an editorial in the journal, Nicolas Wentzensen and Mark Schiffman of the national cancer institute said women under 30 years of age in developing countries were vaccinated against HPV. This can help boost group immunity by reducing circulating viruses in the community.