HPV vaccine could prevent over 100,000 cancers

16 July 2019

Article: 53/2807

Estimates from the University of Warwick suggest that the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine programme could prevent over 64,000 cervical cancers and nearly 50,000 non-cervical cancers by 2058. 

From September 2019, boys in their eighth school year will be offered the HPV vaccine for the first time. Girls have been offered the HPV vaccine from the NHS since 2008, amounting to 10 million doses of HPV vaccine given to young women, covering over 80% of women aged 15 to 24.

A Scottish study showed that the vaccine has reduced pre-cancerous cervical disease in women by up to 71%, while diagnoses of genital warts in 15 to 17 year-old girls and boys have declined by 90% and 70%, respectively.

The HPV vaccine helps to protect against all cancers linked to the HPV virus including cervical, penile, anal and genital cancers and some cancers of the head and neck. Cervical cancer is currently the most common cancer in women under 35, killing around 850 women each year. HPV is thought to be responsible for over 99% of cervical cancers, as well as 90% of anal cancer, about 70% of vaginal and vulvar cancers and more than 60% of penile cancers.

Source: UK Government, 9 July 2019