Many cases of cervical cancer will soon be prevented because scientists now know what causes the disease.
In a report in The Lancet, a US specialist, Professor Mark Schiffman comments: “We hope to see a major decrease in the numbers of women affected with this cancer within our lifetimes.
“However, any large prevention effort should take into account further improvements such as inexpensive HPV testing, which will be available within a few years.”
Professor Schiffman, of the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, in Maryland, advises that women should be armed with the facts. He said almost all infections of the human papiloma virus, the trigger for cervical cancer, go away within a year or two; many within six months.
Cervical cancer is the second most common form of cancer in women worldwide with thousands dying from the disease. Smear tests, can pick up pre-cancerous cells so they can be treated before they become dangerous.