(RxWiki News) While the origins of many cancers continue to overwhelm science, the cause of cervical cancer is well known - the human papillomavirus (HPV). And since the HPV vaccine program was introduced in Australia, research shows it's working.
In the first study of its kind from Australia, researchers have found that the HPV vaccination program for young women has resulted in a decrease in high-grade cervical abnormalities (HGAs), which form before cervical cancer appears.
"The HPV vaccine works; ask your doctor if its right for you."
Australia introduced an HPV vaccination programm for all women ages 12-26 years between 2007 and 2009.
Researchers looked at and analyzed trends in all types of cervical abnormalities - both high-grade and low-grade cervical abnormalities (LGAs) seen in women in in Victoria, Australia, before and after introduction of the vaccine program.
Since the vaccination program was introduced, there has been a decrease in HGAs in girls 17 years old and younger. There was no decline of LGAs in any age group.
The authors say these findings demonstrate that vaccinating preadolescent girls is appropriate. They add that additional study is needed to confirm these findings.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) representatives agree that more rigorous and thorough studies are necessary (several are underway) to understand the effectiveness of the HPV vaccine against cervical disease.
The article was published in the The Lancet.