Home » Immunization News » Are Cervical Cancer Rates Rising?

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

Last Updated on

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: