HPV Vaccination Produces Huge Drop in Smear Tests

Vaccinated women could require only three screenings in their lifetime, rather than the 12 currently offered by the National Health Service (NHS).

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination could mean a radical drop in the number of smear tests women need to detect cervical cancer.

A new study has demonstrated that only three screenings could offer a similar advantage to the individuals who have been vaccinated as the 12 currently offered by the NHS. HPV is believed to cause around 99% of every single cervical cancer.

A vaccination against HPV has been offered to all girls aged 11 to 13 since 2008. Researchers from Queen Mary University in London discovered three spread tests at ages 30, 40 and 55 would offer the same advantage to vaccinated women from the 12-lifetime screens currently offered in England.

The outcomes, published in the International Journal of Cancer are based on how the HPV vaccine and the improved cervical screening programme will work best together.

“The NHS should benefit from the investment that it has made by introducing the vaccination program. These women are less likely to develop cervical cancer so they don’t need such stringent routine checking as those at a higher risk, said by the Lead author of the study Professor Peter Sasieni.

“He said that reducing the quantity of tests for those women who had been vaccinated would “free up resources for where they are required most.

“The change in the screening system is a unique chance to reassess how frequently women are welcomed for cervical screens during their lifetimes.”

Meanwhile a new NHS program “HPV primary testing” is due to be taken off crosswise over England from December 2019 which implies that cervical samples will be tested for HPV but only checked for abnormal cells if the virus is found.

The present test checks for abnormalities first, which is less efficient. The new testing system will imply that unvaccinated ladies will just need seven screenings in their lifetime instead of 12.

In the meantime, new figures demonstrate that the proportion of eligible ladies in England currently having a smear test has dropped below three-quarters.

Statistics published by NHS Digital show that in March 2017, 72% of eligible women were screened within the recommended timeframe, compared with 75.7% out of 2011.

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