Over two-thirds of South African women risk developing cervical cancer, in light of a worrying local increase in Human Pappiloma Virus (HPV)-related diseases, the University of the Witwatersrand said on Monday.
“Information from a recent WHO/ICO report on HPV and cervical cancer 2010 shows that South Africa has a population of 16.84 million women aged 15 years and older who are at risk of developing cervical cancer,” Martin Hale, department head of anatomical pathology at Wits and the National Health Laboratory Service, said in a statement.
This amounted to about 65 percent of women in the country, based on estimates from Statistics SA in July 2010, according to which 25.66 million people in the population were women.
“Current estimates indicate that every year 5743 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and more than 3000 die from the disease,” said Hale.
[Note from SaneVax: What these women need is not a vaccine proven to prevent HPV infection, but access to good gynecological care. Adequate screening with proper follow-up has already been proven safe, affordable, necessary and effective. Why use a vaccine that is not proven to prevent cancer when it does not eliminate the need for screening and follow-up?]