Abstract

Advisory report issued by the Health Council of the Netherlands related to vaccination against cervical cancer (31 March 2008). The Netherlands has had a successful cervical cancer screening programme for several decades. Women between the ages of thirty and sixty are checked for the disease or its precursors, with a view to providing treatment as early as possible in appropriate cases. Recently, however, vaccines have come onto the market, which can be used to prevent cervical cancer – one of the more common forms of cancer in women. It has been known for some time that persistent infection by human papilloma virus (HPV) is responsible for cervical cancer. HPV is transmitted by sexual contact; most women acquire HPV infections, most of them without any untoward consequences. However, a small percentage of women who become infected go on to develop pre-cancerous conditions and in a small proportion of these women, the pre-cancerous conditions lead to cervical cancer. The vaccines now available prevent the development of the precursors of cervical cancer, and thus are likely to prevent the cancer itself. The use of such vaccines would therefore enable primary prevention, to complement the existing early detection and early treatment activities. Source: http://www.gezondheidsraad.nl/sites/default/files/200808E_0.pdf

Recommendation Europe Netherlands health policy HPV - Human papillomavirus NITAG