Victoria on track to eliminate cervical cancer by 2030

POSITIVE PROGRESS IN WOMEN’S CANCERS... The World Health Organisation has a goal of eliminating cervical cancer by 2030. Photo: Supplied

A NEW report by the Cancer Council Victoria suggests Victoria is on track to become the first jurisdiction in the world to eliminate cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is largely preventable through HPV vaccination and cervical screening, yet sadly 218 Victorian women were diagnosed with the disease last year.

Screening program manager at Cancer Council Victoria, Kate Broun, said the data indicates that the renewed National Cervical Screening Program, which commenced in December 2017, is working.

“We’re reaping the rewards of having a National HPV Vaccination Program. The report shows a significant decline in pre-cancer and invasive cervical cancer in young women, indicating the effectiveness of HPV vaccination,” said Ms Broun.

However, Ms Broun said that while Victoria is making excellent progress towards the target of eliminating the disease by 2030, a global goal set by the World Health Organisation, we need to increase uptake of cancer screening and HPV vaccination to reach this goal.

“Currently only 53 percent of eligible Victorians are taking part in cervical screening, and 80.9 percent of Victorian girls are fully vaccinated against HPV.

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander women and women from some culturally diverse backgrounds have higher rates of pre-cancer and invasive cervical cancer.

35,924 Victorians were diagnosed with cancer and 11,329 died from cancer this year. This equates to 98 new diagnoses every day, or one diagnosis every 15 minutes, and 31 deaths every day.

The five most common cancers in Victoria are prostate, breast, bowel, lung, and melanoma, collectively accounting for 57 percent of all new cancers and 46 percent of all cancer deaths.