Anti-HPV jab preventing cancers in young women
CANCER Council Queensland is calling for all eligible teens to receive the HPV vaccine, with new evidence showing the jabs are preventing pre-cancerous lesions in young women.
Recent data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and the Victorian Cytology Service (VCS) showed that a population-based HPV vaccination program resulted in a fall in cervical abnormalities, which are precursors to cervical cancer.
The study found that women who received all three doses of the vaccine (aged 12-17 years in 2007) had a 48 per cent lower rate of the most serious precancerous abnormalities than those who hadn't received the vaccine.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the study confirms how vital uptake of the HPV vaccination is.
"HPV is a common virus that can be effectively prevented through vaccination," Ms Clift said.
"Now we know the HPV vaccine is also highly effective at preventing cervical abnormalities which are precursors to cervical cancer.
"The uptake of HPV vaccinations is critical in reducing the rising trend of HPV-related cancers.
"It's imperative that all eligible young people receive the vaccine - taking preventive action against HPV is vital and could save a young person's life in years to come.
"Parents should check in with their child and ensure all three doses of the vaccine have been administered for best protection against HPV-related cancer and disease."
The human papillomavirus (HPV) causes almost all cases of cervical cancer, around 90 per cent of anal cancers, 35 per cent of penile cancers and 60 per cent of oropharyngeal cancers (cancer of the back of the throat, including tongue and tonsils) in Australia*.
The Gardasil vaccination is most effective if administered before a young person becomes sexually active. Those eligible can also receive the vaccination through their GP.
More information about the National HPV School Vaccination Program is available at hpv.health.gov.au.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at www.cancerqld.org.au or Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20.