Cervical Cancer Jab Gets Wider Roll Out in Oz

by Rajashri on Aug 4 2009 11:18 PM

Dr Gerry Wain has elaborated on the wide health benefits of the availablity of the anti-cancer vaccine Gardasil in Australia.

He said that the rates of genital warts have already dropped many fold in the country as compared to data from before 2007 when the vaccine was not available.

"It's not so much that warts are the most important thing in history," said Dr Wain, who is a gynaecological oncologist at Sydney's Westmead Hospital. "It's the fact you put a population vaccine program out there and you see very dramatic reductions ... Warts are the first installment."

Gardasil prevents infections caused by sexually transmitted Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is also responsible for 70% cases of cervical cancer.

"Two million women every year have to have a pap smear, 15,000 women have to have surgery on their cervix all to prevent the cancer," Dr Wain said. "These should drop to half that, just as genital warts have dropped 50 per cent in a relatively short period of time."

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has given approval for prescribing the vaccine for women aged up to 45 years in the country.