The introduction of the HPV vaccine will slash cases of cervical cancer in women under 30 by 63 per cent by 2025, a cancer research study has predicted.
The success of the vaccination programme, which protects women against the most severe forms of the human papillomavirus, will result in a dramatic fall in the number of diagnosed cases of the disease in the next 15-20 years, according to the UK study published in the British Journal of Cancer.
Researchers said the next generation will be the first to benefit on a wider scale from the vaccination programme, which prevents two types of the virus that result in about 70% of cervical cancers.
The researchers calculated the number of cancers that would be prevented by the vaccine, assuming 80% of girls took it up. Latest government figures suggest that 78% of girls had received all three doses of the vaccine.
Lead study author Jack Cuzick, Cancer Research UK professor at Queen Mary, University of London, said: “This is the most realistic estimate of the impact the vaccination programme will have on the number of women who develop cervical cancer. It shows that the vaccine has great potential in preventing the disease in the near future, but also that it’ll take several decades before we see its full benefits.”
The research team also predicted a drop in the number of instances of CIN3, which causes dramatic cell changes leading to cervical cancer.