BLUFAustralia could be the first country to eliminate cervical cancer by focussing on early detection.
Almost all cervical cancer is caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Therefore, if doctors can identify the virus early, they can usually prevent it from developing into cervical cancer. Now, the Australian Government has set aside $5.8 million to help reach its goal of eliminating cervical cancer in Australia by 2035. Key points:
The Federal Government funding is part of a pledge it made to the World Health Organization.
The new funding will focus on removing cultural and social barriers that prevent women from accessing treatment.
Australia has an excellent cervical screening program and a high uptake of the HPV vaccine by school-aged boys and girls.
There are good treatment options for women who do develop HPV.
The pelvic exam using the speculum to collect cells from the cervix is something a range of groups is uncomfortable with, which may stop them from coming forward for testing.
From 1 July 2022, self-collection kits will be available to all women. The kits have been open since 2017, but only for some women over the age of 30.
Professor Ian Frazer was one of Gardasil architects—the first vaccine used to protect against strains of HPV. Professor Frazer stated that:
'We've got a chance to get rid of a cancer completely; first time ever,' Professor Frazer said.
Mar 2021 AFR Australia is on track to beat the world in eliminating cervical cancer
Mar 2021 Science Direct Achieving cervical cancer elimination among Indigenous women
Aug 2021 Canberra Times Self-collection kits could help Australia eliminate cervical cancer
Nov 2021 Health Australia backs commitment to lead world in eliminating cervical cancer
Nov 2021 RACGP Australia continues push to eliminate cervical cancer