Why do some folks think that cervical cancer rates are rising?
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.
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
“…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.
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.
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
- Has Gardasil Really Eliminated Cervical Cancer in Australia?
- I’m Not Anti-Vaccine, I Just Don’t Believe in the HPV Vaccine
- Is the HPV Vaccine a Savior or the Most Dangerous Vaccine Ever Made?
- Have Over 75,000 Adverse Reactions to the HPV Vaccine Been Reported?
- HPV Vaccine Myths
- HPV vaccine benefits – anti-vaxxers pick bad study, ignore positive data
- HPV infections nearly eliminated in England under vaccine scheme
- UK Cervical Cancer Statistics
- Surveillance of type-specific HPV in sexually active young females in England, to end 2018
- Inadvisable anti-vaccination sentiment: Human Papilloma Virus immunisation falsely under the microscope
- CDC – United States Cervical Cancer Statistics
- Success of HPV vaccine could lead to end of cervical cancer
- Study – Prevalence of Cervical Disease at Age 20 After Immunisation With Bivalent HPV Vaccine at Age 12-13 in Scotland: Retrospective Population Study
- Study – Reduction in HPV16/18 prevalence among young women with high‐grade cervical lesions following the Japanese HPV vaccination program
- Study – Impact of 2-, 4- and 9-valent HPV vaccines on morbidity and mortality from cervical cancer
- Study – Ten-year Follow-Up of Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Efficacy Against the Most Stringent Cervical Neoplasia End-Point-Registry-Based Follow-Up of three Cohorts From Randomized trials