Quantcast
Latest Stories

UK, Aussie HPV programs models for PH

By

STANLEY

IT IS important to realize that most sexually active women acquire a virus called human papilloma virus (HPV) at some stage in their lives. In most cases, the body’s immune system is strong enough to fight it off.

However, of the roughly 100 different strains of HPV that could infect women, quite a few have been known to be feisty and lead to serious complications: strains 16 and 18 could cause about 70 percent of all cases of cancer of the cervix (neck of the womb) while strains 6 and 11 could cause the majority of genital warts.

Cervical cancer is the second most common malignancy among women worldwide, with about 500,000 cases a year.

Main cause

In developing countries like the Philippines, it is the main cause of cancer deaths in women, and around 250,000 women die each year because of it (Philippine cervical cancer incidence rate is 11.7 per 100,000 women).

But the situation is not hopeless, according to University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) Prof. Margaret Stanley who recently visited the country to tell UK’s success in dealing with HPV infection and cases of cervical cancer.

“In a country, where 2,900 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer a year (UK cervical cancer incidence rate is 7.2 per 100,000 women), the government in September 2008 began a routine immunization program for HPV for 12- to 13-year-old girls. The vaccine used at the time was a bivalent (which contains protection against two strains) vaccine which protects against infection with HPV strains 16 and 18,” reported Stanley before participants of the third and concluding leg of “It Can Be Done,” an HPV Summit held at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila in Pasay City.

However after three years of running the program, the UK health authorities in September 2012 switched to MSD’s Gardasil, a quadrivalent HPV vaccine that protects against the two strains of HPV that cause cervical cancer, plus two other strains that cause genital warts.

Figures from the UK Health Protection Agency showed that 75,000 people were diagnosed with genital warts in 2010.

Fight genital warts

“Both vaccines protect against HPV types 16 and 18, which cause more than 70 percent of cervical cancer. However, Gardasil offers a much broader protection as it could deal with HPV types 6 and 11 which cause nearly all genital warts, one of the most common sexually transmitted infections,” Stanley explained.

She shared that UK authorities had weighed up both the cost and clinical benefits before deciding to switch to Gardasil, adding that they have reflected the changes in scientific knowledge that has become available since last time.

The UK Department of Health says 400 deaths a year from cervical cancer will be prevented by the said vaccination program (nearly 1,000 women die from the disease every year)

Stanley related that UK health authorities were encouraged by what happened in Australia. In April 2007, Australia started a national government-funded program to provide HPV vaccine (quadrivalent) to all young women accessing health services.

Prevalence of prevention

“After only four years, the Australian authorities found that among vaccinated women, the prevalence of vaccine-preventable HPV infection had dropped from about 30 percent to 7 percent. Even among unvaccinated women, the rate of infection dropped by about half. This means, vaccines help not only the vaccinated, but also the entire community. I believe this program as well as in the UK could serve as a model here considering its success in both countries,” Stanley said.

Australia was the first country to fund a vaccination program for all women aged 12-26 years. A national surveillance network in Australia was established and identified trends in diagnoses of genital warts from 2004 to 2009.

While cervical cancer only accounts for a small percentage of the total number of women’s cancers, majority of cases occur in midlife rather than old age.

“In the UK,  while cervical screening program has been able to half the rate of cervical cancer since the 1980s—precancerous changes in the cervix can be detected preventative treatment given—routine vaccination of girls against HPV have cut rates further,” Stanley said.

While several tests can be used in screening for cervical cancer, the Pap smear (cytology) is the only test that has been used in large populations and that has been shown to reduce cervical cancer incidence and mortality.

“Why is the test and immunization important? HPV does not produce symptoms when you get it so you have no way of telling whether it has been present in your body, unless you have had a smear test which reveals precancerous changes caused by the virus. Once cancer is established, the most common symptom is bleeding between periods or after sex as well as menstrual bleeding, which may also be heavier and last longer than normal,” Stanley warned.

Although HPV can be passed on through sex, it has also been found to be passed on through intimate contact including changing the diapers of babies.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: health and wellness , HPV , human papilloma virus , vaccination program , Women

  • ThudOthwacker

    Hmmmm, Will Celdran capitalize these for his condom awareness(lobbying) activism? Probably, another circus act won’t hurt! 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ICYWMBS3YFLGCUKMKSNHBLP36E Entropia

     This is an advertisement for Gardasil!

  • just_anotherperson

    IT IS important to realize that most sexually active women acquire a virus called human papilloma virus 

    The key word is “sexually active”. Same meaning as “promiscuous”



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • Tens of thousands travel by sea this Holy Week
  • Police: Dad smothered toddler to play video game
  • 7 killed in shooting in China-Vietnam border
  • Chinese trade group to mediate shoe factory strike
  • Malaysia, Australia in deal on black box custody–report
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Marketplace