New long-term data shows the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine introduced in 2006 to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer in women is having its intended effect. An observational study of 447,845 women in Scotland born between 1988 and 1996 revealed there were no cases of cervical cancer found among those who received the vaccine at age 12 or 13—even if the patient did not receive all 3 of the recommended doses. Those who were immunized between the ages of 14 and 18 and received all 3 doses had fewer instances of cervical cancer (3.2 cases per 100,000) compared with unvaccinated women (8.4 cases per 100,000). The study was presented in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Cervical cancer in the US: Separately, new data from the American Cancer Society shows US women in their 30s and early 40s—who may not have received the HPV vaccine because of their age group—have demonstrated a 1.7% annual increase in incidence of cervical cancer from 2015 to 2019. In the same time period, incidence in US women aged 20 to 24 years decreased by 65%—a population the society says was the first exposed to the HPV vaccine. Vaccination is typically recommended to begin at age 11 or 12 years. Overall, about 4,360 women in the US die from cervical cancer each year.
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