Cancer latest: HPV jab may ward off cervical cancer in women with precancerous cells


Share post:


Cervical cancer is, as its name suggests, a form of cancer present only in the cervix and thus only present in women and transgender men. Around 3,000 people are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year in the UK with 853 deaths. While cervical cancer has a high 10 year survival rate of 53 percent what is most remarkable about the condition is that, according to data from Cancer Research UK, 99.8 percent of cases are preventable. This is why news from BMJ is so important amid research showing the HPV vaccine could help prevent the disease from developing.

The HPV vaccine helps to protect the body against the human papillomavirus, a virus known to cause genital warts and cancer.

Published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal), the research suggests women who have precancerous cells on their cervix could benefit from the vaccine.

The conclusions were reached after analysis of 18 studies on the topic in question. They showed, compared to those who were unvaccinated, that the risk of disease was reduced by 57 percent in individuals who were vaccinated in conjunction with the undertaking of treatment for surgical lesions.

Normally, once a woman is found to have high-grade pre-cancerous cells on their cervix they normally have an increased risk of developing cervical cancer for the rest of their life.

READ MORE: Hair loss: 5 foods to eat for fuller and stronger locks

While this is positive news, the authors said more research was required in order to confirm the findings of the study.

The authors said: “HPV vaccination at the time of local excision… might lead to a reduction in the risk of recurrence of high-grade preinvasive disease.

“Large, appropriately powered randomised controlled trials are required to establish the effectiveness of HPV vaccination at the time of surgical treatment of cervical preinvasive disease.”

Who is the HPV vaccine normally given to?

The HPV vaccine is normally given to girls and boys at the ages of 12 and 13 as a way to protect them against conditions such as:
• Cervical cancer
• Anal cancer
• Some, but not all, head and neck cancers.


What are the symptoms of cervical cancer?

Although not the most common, cervical cancer is nevertheless one to be aware of and should be one in the position where it could become a problem.

Symptoms include:
• Unusual vaginal bleeding for the individual in question
• Changes to your vaginal discharge
• Pain during sex
• Pain in the lower back
• Pain between the hip bones
• Lower tummy pain.

The NHS say those with other conditions such as fibroids and endometriosis “may get symptoms like these regularly”.

Furthermore, due to the nature of the disease, the NHS adds it is essential these symptoms are checked as soon as possible by a GP.

READ MORE: Prostate cancer: ‘Misinterpretation’ of urinary symptoms behind deaths

Although getting checked is a matter of necessity and mortality, the NHS note that just because someone has these symptoms, it does not automatically mean they have cervical cancer.

With regard to cancer it is far better to get checked and find out it was nothing, than to leave it and discover weeks, months, or years later that there was something that could have been done about it.

Cancer is most efficiently treated in its earliest stages.

Who is most at risk of developing cervical cancer?

While the HPV virus is the main cause, other risk factors can increase the likelihood of onset.

This includes women who:
• Are under the age of 45
• Have a weakened immune system
• Have given birth to multiple children or had children before the age of 17.
• Had a mother who took the hormonal medicine diethylstilbestrol while pregnant while said person was in the womb.
• Have had vaginal, vulval, kidney, or bladder cancer in the past.

As well as potentially getting the HPV vaccine (more research is necessitated here first) other ways to reduce one’s risk of developing cervical cancer include quitting smoking, eating a balanced diet, and practicing safe sex using condoms.

Women are normally invited for cervical screenings between the ages of 25 and 64 which can help detect cervical cancer before it develops.

Cervical screenings are also available on the NHS.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Related articles

Selena Gomez, 30, says ‘I’m a little big’ as she hits back at Golden Globe outfit trolls

Selena, 30, hit back at online trolls who wrote nasty comments about her weight, despite oozing confidence...

Dancing On Ice’s Ekin-Su details ‘supportive’ gestures from partner Davide

“It's great, I’m happy I’m doing it, no regrets at all, see you later to the curse!”Ekin...

Kate wore stunning full length gown with a trendy twist – shows off her enviable legs

The royal turned heads in a silver chain with lots of geometric shapes attached to it, and...

Nick Kyrgios risks trouble with Aussie police after scooter ride before Australian Open

Nick Kyrgios could find himself in hot water ahead of the Australian Open after he was pictured riding an e-scooter...