Most people may have heard about certain vaccines that have come close to eradicating diseases, such as Smallpox. Cancer, however, has long been a different story. While cancer is technically considered a disease, it is more accurately described as runaway cellular reproduction with no known cure as now. One country, however, may have found a way to eliminate a certain type of cancer through vaccines.
In a new study released by the Lancet Public Health, it was found that by 2028, only 4 in every 100,000 women could be diagnosed with cervical cancer annually in Australia, which would eliminate the disease as a public health issue, and by 2066, researchers say that less than one woman per year could receive the bad news.
The reason for results like these is because of a government program encouraging parents to get a vaccine for the cancer-causing human Papillomavirus (HPV) for their children.
Karen Canfell, the Director of Cancer Research at Cancer Council NSW, the organization which has produced the findings, said to the New York Times, “I think this shows the way forward for other countries.”
Australia started the vaccination program in 2007 as a three-dose course for teenage girls that was cost-free to families. In 2013, the program was expanded to school-age boys. Though relatively unaffected, boys can be carriers and transmit the disease to others. Boys can also develop other forms of cancer if they have HPV.
This has led to a 77% reduction in the types of HPV that are most responsible for cervical cancer.
While the success of the vaccine has resulted in reduction of cases involving cervical cancer, it is still the fourth most common form of cancer in women in the world today and an additional 570,000 cases are expected in just this year.
In the United States, the rate of teens that are vaccinated is only 49%, while countries like Japan are far, far fewer thanks to fear campaigns like those that say that autism comes from vaccines, which has been proven wrong quite a few times now.
The best way to think of this is that if you are young enough to get a vaccination, you should. It will reduce the risk of getting certain types of cancer and improve your life span.