The HPV vaccine has been around now for fifteen years. It’s now recommended for everyone from age 9 to 26, and also for some adults between 27 and 45. The vaccine is a series of three shots over 6 months and helps women and men to develop immunity against the HPV virus. This allows protection from genital warts and cervical, vaginal, anal and oral cancer.
A new study done in the US has analyzed the changes in cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates after the implementation of HPV vaccination. It compared data from 3 age groups —15 to 24 years, 25 to 29 years, and 30 to 39 years— during pre and post-vaccination years. The results revealed that in the post-vaccination period evaluated (2010-2017) cervical cancer incidence dropped by 38% in the youngest group, by 16% in the second group, and 8% in the oldest group. Mortality rates also dropped: 43%, 47% and 38%, respectively. The difference between the results in each age group is associated with vaccination levels being lower in the older groups.
These numbers can be compared to another study done this year in the UK that compared cervical cancer rates in women born since September 1995 and women from previous generations. The study showed that cervical cancer rates dropped 87% among vaccinated girls, meaning that the UK is close to eradicating cervical cancer. This great difference in numbers from the UK and the US is due to vaccination coverage being higher in the UK. Even so, these results are reassuring enough for us to encourage all patients to get vaccinated.
We encourage all our patients up to the age of 26 to get the vaccine. For women over the age of 26, it’s worth a discussion to see if the HPV vaccine would be helpful for you, just ask us.
El Camino Women’s Medical Group offers the latest Minimally Invasive Solutions for gynecologic problems. Drs. Amy Teng, Erika Balassiano, Pooja Gupta, and Christina Lam, all members of AAGL (American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopy) are highly trained and experienced in the field of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery. Dr. Erika Balassiano has also completed a Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Fellowship, under the supervision of world-renowned Dr. Camran Nezhat.
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