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.