In May 2018, at the World Health Assembly, the Director-General of WHO made a global call for action towards the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health priority. The present focus of this initiative is to develop a global strategy and supporting approaches that can achieve this ambitious, but attainable goal in every country within the 21st century.
In a paper published in the Lancet Public Health journal, Hall et al (2018) adapted an extensively validated dynamic model of human papillomavirus (HPV) to estimate the time to cervical cancer elimination in Australia. The model estimated that cervical cancer will be eliminated by 2020, based on a rare cancer threshold of fewer than 6 new cases per 100,000 women annually, or by 2028, based on a lower threshold of 4 new cases per 100,000 women annually. The authors also predicted that the mortality associated with cervical cancer could decrease below 1 death per 100 000 women by 2034. Hence, cervical cancer elimination may become a reality in Australia within the next 10 years.
The key take-away message of the Hall et al study for countries worldwide is that through comprehensive HPV vaccination at a national level, it is possible to virtually eradicate cervical cancer in that country.
There are few options available for the prevention of cancers in general, and cervical cancer prevention is one of them. As such, we should all take the opportunity to reduce our individual risk. Get vaccinated for HPV now.
 Hall MT • Simms KT • Lew JB • et al. The projected timeframe until cervical cancer elimination in Australia: a modelling study. Lancet Public Health. 2018; (published online Oct 2.). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(18)30183-X.