Australia Leads the World by Eradicating Cancer

Leslie Hanson
October 5, 2018

Just after two years, with only 6 new cases per 100,000 women annually, cervical cancer would be legitimately considered as rare cancer in Australia.

Great news for women across Australia today.

"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.

Wendy Goddard, whose daughter Zoe, from Stowupland, died aged 27 from cervical cancer in 2016, said a quick turnaround on smear tests was vital in getting prompt treatment.

Silvia de Sanjose, president of the International Papillomavirus Society, said Australia had been at the forefront of HPV research, from key innovations in immunology and vaccine development through to the implementation of large scale vaccination initiatives and the transition to HPV-based cervical screening.

The new test looks for the presence of HPV, the virus that causes nearly all cervical cancers, and is expected to lower cervical cancer cases and mortality by at least 20%.

Robert Music, chief executive of cervical cancer charity Jo's Trust, said: "Lots of people have approached us through our helpline saying they are waiting 12, 14, 16 weeks for their results".

Music added that progress is also being seen in the UK.

Researchers have estimated that the switch to the new test, conducted only every five years, will reduce cancer rates by at least 20%.

HPV is the name given to a common group of viruses: There are more than 100 types of HPV.

Australia was called the "global front runner in cervical cancer prevention" in the study.

Ian Frazer, professor at the University of Queensland who co-authored the study said, "We have taken major steps forward with HPV vaccination, and with the introduction of the new screening program and now this new Cancer Council research predicts that we will be the first country in the world to achieve the elimination of cervical cancer".

Cervical cancer is only expected to reach historic lows, but not be fully eliminated, Edmonson told the outlet, and it's hard to know if the decrease in cases of the disease will "plateau off quickly" and stubbornly remain at a higher level.

But for Sam Smithson, a 45-year-old woman from Australia and mother of two, the study comes as doctors warn she may only have one year left to live because of her cervical cancer diagnosis, according to The Guardian.

NHS England has overarching responsibility for delivering the screening programme but Public Health England also plays a part in setting and maintaining standards.

Cervical cancer is diagnosed in more than half a million women yearly, and the disease kills a quarter of a million women, mostly in low and middle-income countries, according to the World Health Organization.

Cervical cancer screening is available in nearly all the countries of the region, with Pap tests most commonly used.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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