Australia could be the first country in the world to effectively eradicate cervical cancer if current vaccination and screening rates are maintained, according to a research in a public health journal.
The journal called, The Lancet published on Wednesday said, “By 2022, cervical cancer rates are predicted to drop to less than six cases per 100,000 people and thus be classified as a rare cancer,’’ the study said, based on modelling by the Australian charity Cancer Council.
According to their models, cervical cancer rates will continue to drop to below the “elimination’’ threshold of four new cases per 100 000 by 2035.
The researchers attributed the progress in the fight against the disease to national programmes aimed at preventing it, beginning with the launch of a national screening programme in 1991.
Cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted infection.
In 2007, Australia became one of the first countries in the world to introduce an HPV vaccination programme for girls, which was later extended to boys.
Researchers also said associated mortality would likely fall below the rate of one per 100,000 women by 2047.