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 public health journal `the Lancet’ published on Wednesday.
“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.
The researchers attributed progress in the fight against the disease to nationwide programmes aimed at preventing it, beginning with the launch of a national screening programme in 1991.
In 2007, Australia became one of the first countries in the world to introduce a 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. However, they warned “elimination is only likely if HPV vaccination and screening continue at their current rates.’’