Health Officials Promise To Eliminate Cervical Cancer By 2040

Amanda Pritchard, the head of England’s National Health Service has vowed to eliminate cervical cancer by 2040, the BBC reported.

Pritchard said by increasing the rates of screening and vaccination, it would be possible to ensure that no woman is diagnosed with cervical cancer within the next two decades.

Around 2,600 English women are diagnosed each year with cervical cancer.

Pritchard is calling for the NHS to adopt the practices it used during the COVID pandemic to offer vaccination drives in communities at places like libraries and sports venues in areas where uptake is particularly low.

Additionally, Pritchard wants improvements to the NHS app to make it easier for individuals to schedule appointments and check their vaccination history.

Many countries are working toward eliminating cervical cancer. The World Health Organization defines “eliminating” as getting the rate of diagnosis down to 4 per 100,000 people.

Australia has already set a goal of eliminating cervical cancer by 2035.

According to the WHO, to achieve that goal, 90 percent of women must be vaccinated with the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and 70 percent must be screened.

Human papillomavirus is the cause of 99 percent of cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine is said to be 90 percent effective against the virus.

According to NHS England, 86 percent of girls have been vaccinated with the HPV vaccine.

Without a 100 percent effective vaccine, screening plays a vital role in spotting cervical cancer and ensuring that it is treated early.

Screening spots the early signs of cervical cancer and can prevent three-quarters of the cases from ever developing into full-blown cancer. However, data from NHS England shows that one in three who are eligible does not undergo screening for cervical cancer.

To try to reach those who do not come in for screening, the NHS is expanding trials for self-screening kits.

Since the NHS began giving the HPV vaccine to girls in 2008, instances of cervical cancer have dropped by 87 percent.