Cervical Cancer Prevention


Anchor lead: A huge study shows the HPV vaccine prevents cancer of the cervix, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Human papilloma viruses cause cancer, and the vaccine against them prevents cancer of the cervix in women, a huge study of over a one and a half million Swedish women shows. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, describes the results.

Nelson: What this group does is finally get enough people followed for long enough that they can get a sense for is cervical cancer itself actually prevented? What they found was that among people who were vaccinated only 19 cases of cervical cancer, among the unvaccinated more than five hundred cases. That’s as clear as can possibly be the vaccine definitely prevents cervical cancer in addition to the premalignant condition.   :27

Nelson says the very few cases of cervical cancer among women who were vaccinated probably shows they were already exposed to the virus before they received the vaccine, which is now routinely given to girls around 12 years of age. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.