The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) wants Canada to be the first country in the world to eliminate cervical cancer. In 2017, an estimated 1,550 Canadian women were diagnosed with the disease and an estimated 400 died from it.
But the human papillomavirus (HPV) which causes cervical cancer is also associated with cancers of the anus, vagina, vulva, penis, mouth and throat.
Three-pronged attack suggested
The society holds that a combination of gender neutral vaccination, cervical cancer screening and early treatment could prevent HPV infections and HPV-related cancers.
The SOGC also pledges to work to ensure that women around the world benefit from Canada’s leadership in the global drive to eliminate cervical cancer.
HPV infection is common
HPV infection is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in Canada. It’s estimated 75 per cent of Canadians will be infected in their lifetimes. Most people clear the disease on their own. Canada has three vaccinations available to help prevent some types of HPV.
Several provinces offer free vaccinations against HPV to young people and other select groups.