FRIDAY, Feb. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) — In the absence of further intervention, in the next 50 years, an estimated 44.4 million women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer globally, according to a study published online Feb. 19 in The Lancet Oncology.

Kate T. Simms, Ph.D., from the Cancer Council New South Wales in Sydney, and colleagues conducted a statistical analysis of existing trends in cervical cancer worldwide using high-quality cancer registry data and modeled the future incidence rates and burden of cervical cancer.

The researchers estimate that during the period from 2020 to 2069, 44.4 million cervical cancer cases will be diagnosed globally in the absence of further intervention; almost two-thirds of cases would occur in low or medium Human Development Index category countries. In this period, 6.7 to 7.7 million cases could be averted if vaccination is rapidly scaled up to 80 to 100 percent coverage by 2020 with a broad-spectrum human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine; more than half of these cases would be averted after 2060. Preventive efforts could be expanded through implementation of HPV-based screening twice per life (at age 35 and 45 years) in all low-income and middle-income countries, with 70 percent coverage globally; this implementation would avert a total of 12.5 to 13.4 million cases in the next 50 years.

“In conclusion, our findings show that a failure to expand current programs to reach the women who would most benefit from cervical cancer prevention strategies will have devastating consequences,” the authors write.

One author disclosed receiving HPV tests and assays for research from biopharmaceutical companies.

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