Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Preventing Cervical Cancer

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Preventing Cervical Cancer

Article excerpt

A guide for health-care providers in health centres and district hospitals to use in preventing and controling cervical cancer includes new recommendations on human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and testing.

The Comprehensive cervical cancer control: a guide to essential practice, first published in 2006, has been revised to include scientific evidence published up to December 2013 and was released last month.

The guide includes a new chapter on vaccination against HPV, which can cause cervical cancer. It proposes that girls aged 9 to 13 years should receive two doses of the vaccine, rather than three doses as previously recommended--a change that will save costs for health systems.

The guide also includes a new recommendation to incorporate HPV testing in cervical cancer prevention programmes, a change that has the potential to increase the coverage of screening and improve the quality of national cervical cancer programmes.

It advises that HPV testing should be offered to women aged over 30 years. However, if HIV prevalence is high, testing should be offered to younger women. If the test result is negative, the woman should not be tested again for at least five years. A positive test result--indicating that she may have a lesion or be at risk of developing cancer in the future--would need further investigation. …

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