The Mohammed VI Center for the Treatment of Cancers has just organized a webinar for healthcare professionals on vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) infections, with the support of MSD laboratories. The aim is to raise awareness about the importance of vaccination against HPV, the main cause of the development of precancerous and cancerous lesions of the cervix.
In Morocco, cervical cancer, which comes second after breast cancer, constitutes a real public health problem, not only by its frequency but also by its mortality rate. According to the Cancer Registry of the Greater Casablanca Region, its frequency is 14 new cases per 100,000 women, which represents a high incidence rate compared to Western countries. Also, according to this same register, the 5-year survival does not exceed 60%, all stages combined, and this is largely due to the rather late stage of diagnosis.
Vaccines against HPV infections have been introduced in many countries around the world since 2006. As of 2018, 79 countries are using them and have an HPV vaccination program. Thanks to this, there are now studies with real-life data that demonstrate the clinical efficacy and safety of the HPV vaccine. In fact, the HPV vaccine helps prevent precancerous lesions of the cervix as well as other infections linked to certain types of HPV such as genital warts.
The webinar particularly emphasized the interest of screening for early diagnosis and especially the importance of vaccination to prevent cervical cancer, thus avoiding the disease and the use of sometimes heavy treatment and disabling.