College & Participants
GME Situation Analysis
New HPV vaccine prevents 90% of cervical cancer cases
Published Date :
13 Jan 2017
PETALING JAYA: A new human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine that protects against the HPV types that together cause around 90% of cervical cancer cases is now available in Malaysia.
The vaccine, Gardasil 9, offers protection against nine HPV types – 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58.
Currently available vaccines protect against four and two types respectively.
Seven of these nine HPV types can cause cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancers, as well as anal cancer in both males and females.
All nine types are responsible for some 80% of moderate to severe pre-cancerous lesions or cell changes in both males and females – a change that may lead to cancer if not treated.
The vaccine will also help to protect against genital warts, which are usually caused by HPV types 6 and 11.
“After HPV types 16 and 18, the five additional HPV types in Gardasil 9 are the most common cervical cancer-causing types globally and in Malaysia, with types 52 and 58 in particular being among the most common HPV types seen in Malaysian females.
“With cervical cancer ranking as the second most common cancer among women in Malaysia, there is a great need to increase the prevention of the disease through vaccination and regular screening,” said University Malaya Medical Centre consultant gynaecological oncologist Prof Dr Woo Yin Ling.
Free HPV vaccines have been provided to female Form One students since 2010 under the National Immunisation Programme.
Sexually-active women are recommended to get pap smears to screen for cervical cancer within three years of first having sexual intercourse and once every three years subsequently.
Pap smears are free at government hospitals and clinics.
However, according to the 2006 National Health And Morbidity Survey, only 47.3% of eligible women have ever had one.