Today takes place the commemoration of the World Cervical Cancer Prevention Day, the fourth most common in the world with more than 500,000 cases diagnosed a year, which also takes on special relevance due to the objective established by the WHO last November to the period 2021-2030.
Through three fundamental pillars (vaccination, detection and treatment), it is hoped that with the efforts of all the committed countries, a further step towards eliminating this type of cancer can be taken.
As it is mentioned by the WHO itself on its website, the three goals established for 2030 have been as follows:
- 90% of girls fully vaccinated before their 15th birthday with the human papillomavirus vaccine.
- 70% of women screened before age 35 and again before age 45 using a high-precision test.
- 90% of women diagnosed with cervical cancer receive treatment (90% of women with pre-cancerous lesions and 90% of women with invasive cancer).
Almost 100% of cervical cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). In fact, as you can see from the infographic, more than 80% of sexually active people will get HPV in their lifetime. Normally, this infection usually disappears thanks to the action of the organism itself, but in persistent cases pre-malignant lesions can be generated that end up evolving into some type of cancer (those associated with HPV infection are cervical cancer, cancer vulva, anal cancer and oropharyngeal cancer). In this context, prevention is key to avoiding advanced stages of the disease.
Currently, DNA tests for HPV detection are one of the most sensitive tools on the market, especially among young women where the prevalence is usually higher. Not only do they allow detecting the presence of the virus or its persistence, which is what ends up causing the appearance of malignant lesions, but they also allow differentiating between those at high risk (more likely to cause cancer, especially subtypes 16 and 18) and low risk.
At OPERON we have two molecular tests capable of detecting and differentiating up to 37 types of HPV:
- The H+L PapillomaStrip test, based on the reverse blot technique that allows the qualitative detection in DNA samples from cervical smears or biopsies, of 37 subtypes of the human papillomavirus (Papillomavirus).
- The High PapillomaStrip test, a test based on the reverse blot technique that allows the qualitative detection in DNA samples from cervical smears or biopsies, of 19 subtypes of the human papillomavirus (Papillomavirus) of medium-high risk.
Prevention is undoubtedly key to continue taking steps towards the complete eradication of cervical cancer.