The current and future role of screening in the era of HPV vaccination.
With the introduction of cervical screening programs, the incidence and mortality of cervical cancer has been drastically reduced. Techniques such as the traditional Papanicolaou test and the newer liquid-based cytology allow for the early detection of cervical abnormalities prior to the development of invasive cervical cancer. As oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is necessary for cervical cancer, HPV-DNA testing has also been proposed as a routine screening method for the general population. Screening limitations, such as adherence, test sensitivity and specificity, access, and cost-effectiveness are reflected in current screening guidelines. The development of prophylactic cervical cancer vaccines is a major milestone in cervical cancer prevention. These vaccines protect against the initial infection of certain oncogenic HPV types, and therefore prevent the development of cervical dysplasia, precancerous lesions, and cervical cancer. Considering routine cervical cancer vaccination in adolescent girls, screening guidelines must adapt in order to retain efficient and cost-effective prevention measures. Although the true epidemiological and economic impact of cervical cancer vaccines cannot be immediately realized, mathematical models predict various scenarios in which vaccination, in addition to cervical screening, will be cost-effective and further reduce cervical cancer disease.
Myers, E; Huh, WK; Wright, JD; Smith, JS
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