Symposium Addresses New Data on Cervical Cancer Vaccination
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Led by Dr. Waleed Al Jassar, Assistant Professor of Gynaecology Oncology from the Faculty of Medicine at Kuwait University, the symposium addressed newly published data from 2009 on GSK’s cervical cancer vaccine, Cervarix®. Dr. Al Jasser offered a clinician's perspective on vaccination and its impact on not only reducing the tip of iceberg, the cervical cancer, but also the hidden problem, the pre-cancerous lesions.
“Perhaps it is because of the culture in the Middle East or perhaps it is because cervical cancer has no symptoms, but more attention needs to be given to this disease and its preventative measures,” commented Dr. Al Jasser. “In the case of cervical cancer, we are faced with a deadly disease which results from an untreated virus, a virus that can be prevented with a vaccine. I hope that those who attended the symposium will go back to their practices or hospitals with a clearer picture of how we can help women reduce the risk of contracting HPV and the resulting cancer.”
Commenting on the disease, Dr Muna El Kuwari, Director of Primary Healthcare for the Ministry of Health said, “Worldwide, cervical cancer is the second biggest cause of female cancer mortality and counts for about 288,000 deaths per year - 21 women in the UAE alone died of cervical cancer in 2007 . Worldwide, it is also the second most common cancer in women aged between 15-45 and the third leading cause of cancer death among women, after breast and lung cancer . With the advent of vaccines against cervical cancer, we now have powerful new tools to reduce cervical cancer and save women’s lives.”
Scientists predict that vaccination, alongside regular screening, could reduce the chance of developing cervical cancer by 94%, compared to no intervention .