Epidemiology of HPV and Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide (16), second only to breast cancer. Almost half a million (493,243 in 2002) new cases are diagnosed each year with about a quarter of a million (273,505 in 2002) deaths per year

(16). The incidence of cervical cancer in industrialized nations has been drastically reduced by cervical cytology screening programs. Thus, resulting in cervical cancer being seventh in cases diagnosed per year in the developed world (83,000) behind both cancers of the ovaries (97,000) and uterine corpi (136,000) (16). But more than 83% of cervical cancer deaths today occur in the developing world where resources for prevention and treatment programs are limited. Currently worldwide HPV prevalence is estimated to be about 25% (depending on diagnostic methodologies and geographic region)

(17) with a very small proportion maintaining persistent HPV infection. Given these statistics, an effective and inexpensive vaccine is urgently needed to prevent and treat genital-tropic HPV infection worldwide.

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