Are Cervical Cancer Rates Rising?

Why do some folks think that cervical cancer rates are rising?

They don't mention this, but most of the 25- to 29-year-olds seeing a rise in cervical cancer rates in The Independent article likely would have been too old to have had an HPV vaccine, as the UK began their HPV vaccine program in 2008, starting with 12 year olds.
They don’t mention this, but most of the 25- to 29-year-olds seeing a rise in cervical cancer rates in The Independent article likely would have been too old to have had an HPV vaccine, as the UK began their HPV vaccine program in 2008, starting with 12 year olds.

The usual suspects…

Are Cervical Cancer Rates Rising?

The HPV vaccines have been around for well over 10 years, having been approved in 2006.

So why haven’t we eliminated cervical cancer yet?

As you hopefully suspect, it is going to take a little time. For one thing, not everyone was on board with getting their kids vaccinated and protected when the vaccine first came out.

Even Jay Gordon has changed his mind about the HPV vaccine and now recommends it to his patients…

But as more and more kids get vaccinated and protected, we should see much lower rates of HPV infections and then lower rates of cervical cancer.

Is that what we are seeing?

“…the prevalence of HPV16/18 in sexually active 16-18 year-old females who were offered vaccination at age 12-13 years has been less than 2% (compared to over 15% prior to the vaccination programme in 2008). In the most recent year, 2018, 10 years after vaccination was introduced, we detected no HPV16/18 infections in 16-18 year-olds (0% of n=584): this shows the programme has succeeded in delivering both direct and indirect protection.”

Surveillance of type-specific HPV in sexually active young females in England, to end 2018

Yes!

“…the prevalence of HPV6/11 in 16-18 year-olds did not decrease until 2018, from 7-10% during 2010-2017 to 4.1 in 2018.”

Surveillance of type-specific HPV in sexually active young females in England, to end 2018

Yes, we are.

The latest statistics in countries with high HPV immunization rates show that there are little or no HPV infections among 16 to 18 year olds, which means that as they get older, they almost certainly won't develop cervical cancer.
The latest statistics in countries with high HPV immunization rates show that there are little or no HPV infections among 16 to 18 year olds, which means that as they get older, they almost certainly won’t develop cervical cancer.

And following lower rates of HPV infections we will see cervical cancer rates eventually drop.

Are they dropping now?

Would you expect them to be dropping much already?

If you look at the chart above, a lot of teens who were 16 to 24 years old between 2010 to 2013 were infected with HPV…

Now if you are not aware, it takes time for those HPV infections to develop into cervical cancer.

How long?

About 10 to 20 years or longer.

“Cervical cancer has a bimodal age distribution with the majority of cases occurring among women in their 30s and 40s the age at which women are often raising families and ensuring the financial viability of their families and communities.”

Luckett et al on Impact of 2-, 4- and 9-valent HPV vaccines on morbidity and mortality from cervical cancer

That means that we are still going to see cervical cancer because of all of the people who were infected with HPV in the pre-vaccine era.

But rates shouldn’t be rising, should they?

“Routine vaccination of girls aged 12-13 years with the bivalent HPV vaccine in Scotland has led to a dramatic reduction in preinvasive cervical disease. Evidence of clinically relevant herd protection is apparent in unvaccinated women. These data are consistent with the reduced prevalence of high risk HPV in Scotland. The bivalent vaccine is confirmed as being highly effective vaccine and should greatly reduce the incidence of cervical cancer. “

Palmer et al on Prevalence of Cervical Disease at Age 20 After Immunisation With Bivalent HPV Vaccine at Age 12-13 in Scotland: Retrospective Population Study

In most studies, they aren’t.

We haven’t eliminated cervical cancer, but we are hopefully on the road to getting there. Or we will be if folks get vaccinated and protected.

And women should continue to get Pap tests, as the HPV vaccines don’t protect against all types of HPV infections that can cause cervical cancer.

More on Cervical Cancer Rates

Immunization Quiz

Think that you have done enough research about vaccines and are ready to take our immunization quiz?

Let’s see how you do…

Results

Great job!

Good try, but you might want to do a little more research about vaccines.

#1 You might need a tetanus shot if…

Any contaminated puncture wounds, whether from a rusty nail, bite, or scratch, may require a tetanus shot and TIG if your immunizations aren’t current.

#2 DTaP stands for…

DTaP stands for Diphtheria, Tetanus and acellular Pertussis.

#3 If you miss one or more of your child’s sets of shots, you will usually need to…

In general, you do not need to restart the entire series of a vaccine if you miss one or more doses. You should schedule a visit as soon as possible to get caught up though.

#4 If your child has a possible side effect after getting his vaccines, you can report it to…

You or your Pediatrician can report possible vaccine side effects to VAERS, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

#5 Prevnar is a vaccine that protects against infections with the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, which commonly causes…

The Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria can commonly cause meningitis, blood infections, pneumonia and ear infections.

#6 In general, vaccines are…

Vaccines are neither 100% safe nor 100% effective, but they do offer the ‘highest degree of protection with the lowest rate of untoward effects’ and the benefits of getting vaccinated is thought by most professionals to outweigh the risks.

#7 Heather Whitestone, who was crowned Miss America in 1994, was deaf because of…

Newspapers reported that Heather Whitestone, who won the Miss America pageant in 1994, had a reaction to the DPT shot. In reality, her deafness was a result of a Hib infection.

#8 If you want to protect your healthy 6 year old against the flu, you can get him a flu vaccine in a…

Flumist, a nasal spray flu vaccine, can be given to healthy children who are at least 2 years old, so this child could either get a regular flu shot or the nasal spray.

#9 Which of the following vaccines usually aren’t given until your child’s first birthday?

The first MMR vaccine usually isn’t given until a child is 12-15 months of age, although it can be given as early as 6 months if they will be traveling to a high risk area or during an outbreak, with the dose repeated at 12 months. The first DTaP is given at 2 months and the influenza vaccine (flu shot) can be given to infants over age 6 months. The Td or tetanus vaccine is not given until a child is at least 7 years old.

#10 At what age can children begin getting yearly flu shots?

#11 You can get a flu vaccine if you are…

In general, you can get a flu shot if you are breastfeeding or pregnant. People with severe egg allergies should talk to their doctor before getting a flu shot, but they can still usually be vaccinated. There is no association between milk allergies and the flu shot.

#12 MMR stands for…

MMR is a combination of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccines.

#13 Before going to college, students, especially those that will be living in a dorm should consider getting…

College students, particularly those who live in dormitories, have a slightly increased risk of getting meningococcal disease and should get a meningococcal vaccine (Menactra or Menveo). A menB vaccine is also now available.

#14 There are vaccines to prevent your child from getting infected with the…

There is currently no hepatitis C vaccine, but children and adults can get vaccinated with both the hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines.

#15 In the United States, the oral polio vaccine is…

The oral polio or Sabin vaccine is no longer given to children in the United States because in a few people (about one in 2.4 million), it can cause polio. The oral polio vaccine is actually better at keeping the disease from spreading to other people though and is still used in many parts of the world.

#16 There are vaccines that can protect people against…

There are vaccines to protect against smallpox and anthrax, however there are no vaccines against SARS or the West Nile virus. The vaccine against Lyme Disease is no longer available. We do have a Rotavirus vaccine.

#17 You have lost your 5 year olds shot records and he is about to start school. You may have to…

Since Hib and Prevnar are usually only given to children under age 5, you would not have to repeat all of his shots. You will have to repeat some of them though (DTaP (4doses), IPV (3doses), hepatitis A (2 doses), hepatitis B (3 doses), MMR (2 doses), Chickenpox (2 doses)) if you do not test his immunity or titer testing does not prove that he is immune.

#18 If a women is pregnant, which shots should her kids not receive?

A pregnant household member, including the child’s mother, is not a contraindication to administration of any vaccine.

#19 Waning immunity is an issue for which of the following vaccines?

Vaccine-induced immunity to pertussis is thought to last for just a few years following the last dose. Measles and chickenpox immunity is long lasting.

#20 Your child should not get a vaccine if…

In general, vaccines do not need to be delayed for mild illnesses, with or without fever, such as a cold or if your child is taking antibiotics. Having had a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine is usually a contraindication or reason not to get another one.

finish

Did you ace the quiz?

Need to do some more homework?

Either way, we have over a thousand articles to help get you educated about vaccines.

More on the Immunization Quiz

Anti-Vax Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories

Why do some folks think that the 2019 novel coronavirus is a man-made patented virus that is being spread to push a mandatory vaccination program?

A new anti-vaccine conspiracy theory is born, this one about the 2019 novel coronavirus.
Robert F Kennedy, Jr leads Children’s Health Defense…

Yup, the usual suspects.

Anti-Vax Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories

As you are likely aware, the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was first identified in the city of Wuhan, China. It has since spread outside Wuhan, including at least one case in the United States.

Why is this a concern?

Some of the other human coronaviruses that have been recently discovered cause severe disease, including MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV.

So what’s the new conspiracy theory?

A patent for a poultry vaccine is not evidence for a conspiracy theory about the 2019 novel coronavirus.
A patent for a poultry vaccine is not evidence for a conspiracy theory about the 2019 novel coronavirus.

That someone attenuated a coronavirus (weakened it) to use it in a vaccine and that this attenuated coronavirus somehow became the 2019 novel coronavirus that started the outbreak in Wuhan, China.

How do we know that this isn’t true?

“Preliminary analysis showed that the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) clusters with the SARS-related CoV clade and differs from the core genome of known bat CoV.”

Cluster of pneumonia cases caused by a novel coronavirus, Wuhan, China

For one thing, it isn’t the same virus that is described in the patent!

Folks should also know that animal vaccines for coronaviruses aren’t new. Why didn’t any of them revert and cause outbreaks?

“In the early 1950s, the first IB vaccine was developed in the USA using the van Roekel M41 (Mass) strain.”

Cook et al on The long view: 40 years of infectious bronchitis research

What about the idea that we will soon be getting a new Chinese coronavirus vaccine?

Here's how the game is played. It is all about conspiracy theories with these folks...
Here’s how the game is played. It is all about conspiracy theories with these folks…

Several biotech companies have already said that they will be working on a 2019-nCoV vaccine, but it is important to note that despite years and years of work, we still don’t have vaccines for MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV.

SARS-CoV has been around since 2002…

While development of a quick 2019-nCoV vaccine will be great if this virus gets out of control, that doesn’t seem to be the way things happen…

Know what else isn’t new?

Anti-vaccine conspiracy theories

More on Anti-Vaccine Conspiracy Theories

January 18 – This Day in Vaccine History

Would folks be more likely to get vaccinated and protected if they remembered what it was like in the pre-vaccine era?

Since anti-vaccine folks like to make it sound like cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, and everything else are caused by vaccines, will they be surprised to know that in addition to now vaccine-preventable diseases, they were big killers in the pre-vaccine era?
Since anti-vaccine folks like to make it sound like cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, and everything else are caused by vaccines, will they be surprised to know that in addition to now vaccine-preventable diseases, they were big killers in the pre-vaccine era?

A lot of people died of diseases that are now vaccine-preventable, and no, you can’t simply thank better hygiene and nutrition instead of vaccines for saving all of those lives.

A lot of people were still getting smallpox in 1920.
A lot of people were still getting smallpox in 1920.

Since the smallpox vaccine has been around for hundreds of years, can you believe that people were still getting and dying of smallpox 100 years ago?

How about 50 years ago?

January 18, 1970 - everyone was excited about all of the progress that was being made in getting smallpox under control.
January 18, 1970 – everyone was excited about all of the progress that was being made in getting smallpox under control.

That’s hard to imagine, isn’t it, as it was long known how to control smallpox with quarantines and vaccination.

On January 18, 1870, the Chicago Tribune described how Chicago was getting smallpox under control - by getting folks vaccinated.
On January 18, 1870, the Chicago Tribune described how Chicago was getting smallpox under control – by getting folks vaccinated.

Still, it took a long time before smallpox was finally declared eradicated.

And with smallpox under control, fifty years ago, many communities were eager to get kids vaccinated and protected to stop measles.

This paper in Nebraska announced "Stop Measles Day" on January 18, 1970.
This paper in Nebraska announced “Stop Measles Day” on this day in vaccine history – January 18, 1970.

Something changed once we got these diseases under control though.

Can you guess what it was?

Todd Wiley was convicted of manslaughter for shaking his child, but his “DPT defense” made the papers for months, including this article on January 18, 1995.

There were more and more vaccine scare stories in the media. Initially they were about the DPT vaccine and they then moved on to MMR once Andrew Wakefield hit the scene.

The Disneyland measles outbreak was well underway on January 18, 2015.

And even though none of the stories were true, that didn’t stop them from influencing people.

Have we learned our lesson?

Do we need to repeat history?

Vaccines are safe, with few risks, and are obviously necessary.

Anti-vax groups are raising money in Maine and elsewhere to influence parents and politicians and new vaccine laws.
Anti-vax groups are raising money in Maine and elsewhere to influence parents and politicians and new vaccine laws.

Vaccinate and protect your kids. Don’t bring back these deadly diseases.

More on History of Vaccines