We look at our nation’s boundary-pushing treatment agenda and tips for women to stay safe.
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer amongst women around the world - there were 570,000 new cases in 2018 alone according to the World Health Organisation , with 933 of those affecting women in Australia, Cancer Australia reports .
Australia has been at the cutting edge of cervical cancer prevention for decades, and recent studies indicate that the disease could become a rarity in this country by 2020 and eliminated by 2028 . Preventative vaccines and new testing techniques are proving an effective combination.
Australia’s great record in tackling cervical cancer is largely down to focusing research and resources on the human papillomavirus (HPV infection).
This infection is the cause of 99.7% of cervical cancer carcinoma and is present in around 90% of adults . However, it was not being tested for in traditional cervical cancer Pap smear tests.
The country needed a new approach to prevent and detect HPV. This came about as a two-step process:
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare:
While cervical cancer cases in Australia are predicted to decline over the years to come, success relies on women taking a proactive approach to their health through preventative actions.
Every plan A needs a plan B because plans don’t always go to plan...
 Hall M, Math M, Simmons K, et al. 2018, The projected timeframe until cervical cancer elimination in Australia: a modelling study, Lancet Public Health Open Access, viewed October 2019 https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(18)30183-X/fulltext
 World Health Organisation, 2018, Cervical Cancer, viewed October 2019 https://www.who.int/cancer/prevention/diagnosis-screening/cervical-cancer/en/
 Australian Government, Cancer Australia, 13 September 2019, Cancer incidence, viewed October 2019 https://ncci.canceraustralia.gov.au/diagnosis/cancer-incidence/cancer-incidence
 Muñoz N, Bosch FX, de Sanjosé S, Herrero R, et al. Epidemiologic classification of human papillomavirus types associated with cervical cancer. N Engl J Med. 2003; 348(6):518–27. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa021641
 Cancer Council, 16 April 2019, Australia set to eliminate cervical cancer by 2035, viewed January 2020 https://www.cancer.org.au/news/media-releases/australia-set-to-eliminate-cervical-cancer-by-2035.html
 Dr Cummins, J, 2019 Cervical Cancer, The Australian Program, viewed October 2019 https://www.scor.com/sites/default/files/scor_inform_cervicalcancer_en.pdf
 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 6 May 2019, Cervical Screening in Australia 2019, viewed October 2019 https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/cancer-screening/cervical-screening-in-australia-2019/contents/summary
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