Australia to become first nation to eliminate cervical cancer

Publish: 2:01 PM, October 3, 2018 | Update: 2:01:PM, October 3, 2018

SYDNEY – Australia is set to become the first country in the world to eradicate cervical cancer, thanks to a wide-scale vaccination campaign and improvements made to the National Cervical Screening Program.

“What we’re seeing now is the vaccinations which began in 2007 just beginning to have their impact on younger women, who would otherwise be in the group that might be first developing cervical cancer,” Australian Health
Minister Greg Hunt told ABC radio on Wednesday.

According to Cancer Council of New South Wales State, their research indicates that if the current rate of screenings and vaccinations are maintained, the deadly disease is likely to be wiped out within 20 years.

They predict that less than six in 100,000 women will contract cervical cancer by 2022, with that number set to drop further by 2035, to just four in 100,000.

“This is such exciting news for women across Australia,” Director of Research at Cancer Council NSW Professor Karen Canfell said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We’ve been leading the way in cervical cancer control for many years and we’ll be sharing our research and approaches with the rest of the world as part of a global push to eliminate this highly preventable cancer.”

With Sydney playing host to the International Papilloma Virus Conference this week, Canfell will now present the findings of the Cancer Council’s research to her counterparts in the global medical community in the hope of
kick-starting similar programs in other nations.