Good to Know > 87% fall in Cervical Cancer cases through HPV Vaccines

87% fall in Cervical Cancer cases through HPV Vaccines

Vaccines used to protect individuals against HPV (human papillomavirus) have led to a dramatic decline in cervical cancer cases. The first real-world data demonstrate a clear cut in the reported cases of cancer of the cervix in women by approximately 87%. With this, the researchers also suggested that people who have been vaccinated against HPV do not require “too-frequent” pap smear tests (regular cervical cancer screening tests).

Human Papillomavirus and HPV Vaccines

Human papillomavirus is a virus that spreads from one person to the next and causes problems in the genitals, mouth, or throat. The infection caused by this virus can further be a cause of cervical and other cancers like cancer of the vagina, vulva, anus, back of the throat, or penis. There are nearly 100 varieties of HPV out of which 40 (or more) are transmitted through sexual contact (vaginal, anal, or oral sexual intercourse).

Since most cervical cancers are developed by this virus, HPV vaccines have come into action. By now, there are three such vaccines available (namely Gardasil and Gardasil 9 by MSD and Cervarix by GlaxoSmithKline). As per the studies and several post-marketing data, Gardasil 9 vaccine works to protect against the following:

  • HPV types 6 and 11 (viruses that cause 90% of genital warts)
  • HPV types 16 and 18 (viruses that cause 70% of cervical cancers)
  • HPV types 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58 (viruses that cause 15% of cervical cancers)

 

Moreover, Gardasil prevents two types of HPV (types 16 and 18) whereas Cervarix prevents four types of HPV (types 6, 11, 16, and 18). Thus, no vaccine protects against all types of HPV. That means vaccination does not ensure full protection against the virus or cervical cancer. It lowers the chance of getting infected by human papillomavirus.

How exactly do HPV vaccines prevent Cervical Cancer?

The HPV vaccines comprise tiny particles (proteins) that look the same as the outer portion of the human papillomavirus. None of these vaccines contain live viruses. When these particles enter the body, the immune system starts to produce antibodies against them. Thus, these vaccines stimulate the body’s defense system to fight against the same viruses in the future. 

Furthermore, all HPV vaccines have demonstrated high efficacy in preventing infection caused by this virus. Clinical trials had been conducted to evaluate and verify the response of two-dose and three-dose schedules in individuals aged 9- through 14- or 15-years. The HPV vaccines received approvals from various ends after such a thorough evaluation. 

 

Consult your doctor to know if you are eligible to receive the HPV vaccine or not.