Study: HPV shot will slash cervical cancer rates

The number of women under the age of 30 diagnosed with cervical cancer will fall nearly two thirds by 2025 because they have received the HPV vaccine, according to a study published this week in the British Journal of Cancer.

U.K. researchers calculated the number of cancers that would be prevented by the vaccine, assuming 80 percent of girls received all three doses. Twelve and 13-year-old girls in the U.K. have been offered the vaccine since 2008, and government figures suggest that 78 percent of them had received all three doses.  

The researchers also predicted 51 percent fewer women will experience severe cell changes that need treatment because they could lead to cervical cancer.

"In women in their twenties alone, around 145 cases of cervical cancer will be prevented each year in the U.K. thanks to the HPV vaccine. And around 13,000 women each year will be spared from having an abnormal screening test result," Cancer Research U.K.'s Professor Jack Cuzick, lead author from Queen Mary, University of London, says in a statement.

However, Lesley Walker, director of cancer information at Cancer Research U.K., stressed that while the findings are good news, women should still be vigilant, as the vaccine doesn't protect against every type of high-risk HPV.

- check out the press release
- read the Telegraph's coverage