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Vaccine cuts rate of HPV infection, precancerous lesions

July 05, 2019 / Lauren Sharkey

Researchers have attributed a substantial drop in human papillomavirus (HPV) infections to the HPV vaccine. Now, they are waiting to see if it will have the same impact on the rates of cervical cancer. Just over a decade ago, healthcare professionals introduced a new vaccination that aimed to prevent recurring infections of certain types of HPV. These infections can, if a person does not receive treatment, lead to cervical cancer. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this form of cancer is the third most common among women. The invention of the Pap smear significantly reduced deaths from cervical cancer in the United States, but the condition is still responsible for around 300,000 deaths worldwide every year. Researchers and healthcare professionals hope that the HPV vaccine will significantly reduce the prevalence of cervical cancer. But it is still too early to determine its potential effectiveness. However, researchers are able to measure the effects of vaccination...