Cervical cancer could be wiped out within 20 years in Australia

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Australia’s introduction of the pap test in 1991 led to cases halving and could soon see it wiped out altogether.

CERVICAL cancer could  soon be wiped out in Australia, say experts.

Oz’s world-leading vaccination  and screening rates mean the disease should  be eliminated as a  public health issue within 20 years.

And it is likely be  classed  a “rare cancer” by 2022 as the number of cases there falls from seven people per 100,000 to less than six.

Cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in women, killing 250,000  worldwide a year.

Nearly all cases (99.7 per cent) are caused by infection from a high risk HPV, a sexually transmitted infection.

Australia’s introduction of the pap test in 1991 led to cases halving.

In 2007 the country became  one of the first  to introduce a  HPV vaccination scheme for girls. This was extended to boys in 2013.

Vaccination rates in Australia are now at 79 per cent for girls at aged 15 and 73 per cent for boys. Its current annual rate  of seven cases per 100,000 is  about half the global average.

Many women will be infected with HPV over their lifetime without any ill-effect.

In the majority of cases there are no symptoms and the infection clears on its own.

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