Dear Editor – I continue to monitor news about cancer treatment knowing as I do about the prevalence of cancer in the Solomon Islands, particular breast cancer and cervical cancer in women and teenage girls.
I would like to share with readers in the Solomon Islands and my friends in the medical profession at the National Referral Hospital and in the MHMS some news released today in the UK’s Evening Standard and written
by Alana Calvert.
Quoting what Ms Calvert had to say in her brief article, I hope it might bring some relief to those in the Solomon Islands worried about cervical cancer, or the possibility of getting the disease.
The HPV vaccine is leading to such dramatic reductions in cervical cancer that those who receive it may only need one smear test in their lives, according to a leading cancer prevention scientist.
The academic director of King’s Clinical Trials Unit Professor Peter Sasieni said that the screening programme – which currently needs to be performed every three to five years – could soon change due to the encouraging results from the new HPV vaccine.
He told BBC Radio 4: “This is really exciting…. (The HPV vaccine) protects against even more types of the virus, and I think with that probably one screen would be enough, maybe two, over a lifetime.”
In the meantime, Cancer Research UK is still urging people to come forward for screening.
According to the BBC, nearly all cases of cervical cancer are caused by human papillomaviruses – known as HPV – and there are more than 100 types.
As the virus is spread by close skin-to-skin contact, the vaccine is ideally given before a person becomes sexually active. End of quote.