These vaccines reduce the risk of cervical cancer

These vaccines reduce the risk of cervical cancer
These vaccines reduce the risk of cervical cancer

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A recent study showed that vaccinations against the human papillomavirus have an effective effect in reducing cervical cancer rates in young women, and annual examinations remain a vital component in reducing risks, according to an expert at the American Hospital Cleveland Clinic.

Long-term infection with certain types of human papillomavirus is the main cause of cervical cancer, which is the fourth most common type of cancer among women worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

About 570,000 women develop cervical cancer each year, and 311,000 women die each year from the disease, which remains a preventable and treatable disease, especially if caught early, according to Dr. Suda Amarnath, a radiation oncologist at Cleveland Clinic.

High risk types

Dr. Amarnath said that the types of HPV that cause cervical cancer are called “high-risk types”, stressing that HPV vaccines protect against the most common high-risk types, as well as some low-risk types, which cause other health problems.

Commenting on the effectiveness of the vaccine, the medical expert referred to a recent observational study published in “The Lancet” at the end of 2021, which monitored the effects of the vaccination program that was established for girls in England in 2008. In general, the researchers reported a significant decrease in the incidence of cervical cancer. Uterus and pre-cancerous cells, especially in girls who received the vaccine between the ages of 12 and 13.

Dr. Amarnath, who was not involved in the study, considered these results “very positive”, but stressed the importance of further research, stressing that regular cervical cancer screenings are still important, even in countries that have vaccination programmes. Amarnath indicated that there is variation in the benefit of the vaccine from one person to another, in addition to the fact that the need for regular examinations remains for those who choose not to be vaccinated in the first place, pointing out that the rate of benefit from this vaccine in the United States ranges between 50 and 70 percent among adolescents. .

Amarnath explained that vaccines are not only for women, and have been shown to be equally effective for men in large randomized trials, noting that men, in addition to being carriers of the disease, are at risk of developing other health problems caused by strains of HPV such as head and neck cancer.

Cervical cancer can develop slowly over many years, during which pre-cancerous cells turn cancerous, which is why screening is important, according to Dr. Amarnath, who added that women at normal risk should start regular screenings from the age of 21 until the age of 21. 65, according to the recommendations of the United States Preventive Services Task Force.

Pap smear

Dr. Amarnath said: “The Pap smear is the most common test, which includes a Pap smear to collect cells and analyze them for high-risk types of HPV and any changes in pre-cancerous cells.”

Women between the ages of 21 and 29 are recommended to have a Pap smear every three years, while women aged 30 to 65 can have either a Pap test every three years, a high-risk HPV test every five years, or both. Once every five years.

Amarnath added: “According to the recommendations, women over the age of 65 do not need to undergo routine Pap tests, because the risk is lower if they have not previously had an unusual Pap smear, but women at any age can develop cervical cancer, so it is necessary to It is important to see a gynecologist if any symptoms related to these diseases appear.

As for treatments, Dr. Amarnath said that in the early stages, cancerous tissue can be removed surgically or with radiotherapy. The Cleveland Clinic health care system indicates that the five-year survival rate is more than 90 percent of cases detected in the first stage. Treatment options in the later stages may include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

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