Current Affairs
Drastic reduction in uterine cancer cases due to vaccination of girls

An international study has shown that cases of uterine cancer are drastically decreasing and it is thought that this disease may be eradicated thanks to a vaccination administered to girls against the Human Papilloma Virus. This vaccination has been administered in Malta to girls since 2010 – last year it was given to 89% of eligible girls.

The study, published on the medical journal The Lancet and carried out on over 60 million persons in 14 developed countries, showed that during the years the uterine cancer is diminishing, together with disease related to the virus leading to it and which also affects male teenagers.

The Lancet stated that the results are being achieved because the Human Papilloma Virus vaccination, HPV, is being administered in many countries to girls before they become sexually active. The journal added that with these results, there is hope that the uterine cancer will eventually be eradicated.

In Malta, the vaccination started being administered to over 12-year old girls. Public Health Superintendent, Prof. Charmaine Gauci, said that girls being vaccinated are increasing and last year 89% of eligible girls were vaccinated.

“We chose the 12-year old age because it is important that this vaccination is given before the person is sexually active, because it is a better prevention. We had various inquiries by parents asking whether this leads to encourage a person to become sexually active and thus showing neglect on the issue. This is not the message…the message is that with this vaccination we are preventing the virus that may lead to cancer. However, responsibility is very important in any sexual activity because there are certain other viruses which can also be transmitted”.

Prof. Gauci added that the vaccination is administered in health centres, girls should be accompanied by parents and are given assistance on sexual education. She said that the increase in girls being vaccination against the virus augurs well that by time we will have a population protected from the HPV virus.

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