Written by Staff Writer
The vaccine has been at the heart of recent debates on vaccination safety and resistance. Credit: US CDC/Wikimedia Commons
An array of new immunizations including narcolepsy drugs are reporting positive results, in what a report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says is a sign of “a broad, continuing interest” in vaccines.
A trend towards immunization has also resulted in a reduction in the percentage of Americans with cervical cancer and other types of cancer.
CDC Director Robert Redfield told CNN that as immunization rates increase, he expects to see additional declines in cancer rates.
Speaking from Atlanta ahead of World Cancer Day , he said the findings “means we have to make sure that we have good education about what the risks and benefits are of any particular vaccine.”
According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 54.7 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed worldwide in 2018, a 6.5% increase on 2017. Among children, global rates of cervical cancer are expected to increase from 16.3% in 2017 to 19.3% in 2025.
According to the World Cancer Report, global cancer rates remain relatively stable in middle-income countries but have shown a small increase in low- and middle-income countries with more growth predicted for the next five years. In high-income countries, they will remain stable.
Global data by the International Agency for Research on Cancer shows that 59.3 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed worldwide in 2017, with more than 14 million deaths — an increase from 57.5 million cases diagnosed in 2016 and 10.6 million deaths. The increase was due to changes in the number of cancer cases being diagnosed and deaths occurring among both men and women.
The WHO calls for patients to be educated and be offered affordable and high-quality diagnostic tests to detect early signs of cancer, and prevent complications.
Chronic and respiratory diseases are the most common cancers in low- and middle-income countries, followed by cancers of the lung, stomach, breast, colon and rectum, and esophagus.
The percentage of women with certain types of cervical cancer is decreasing globally and has dropped by more than 30% since 2000, the report says. In the United States, more than half of the survivors diagnosed with cervical cancer have been cured.
In 2004, then FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan said the agency should discuss with manufacturers what options were available for patients who needed to change their cancer-fighting medications.
“In some cases, this may entail switching to a new therapy, other times it may mean losing some or all of the previous therapy,” he said at the time.
“The higher incidence rate of cervical cancer in the US, coupled with increased incidence around the world, has spurred a tremendous interest in vaccines for the prevention of the disease.”
HPV vaccines have experienced a surge in sales in the past two years, according to McKesson. In the first half of 2018, $1.54 billion was spent on the vaccines for HPV among all patients in the US, which includes girls and boys as young as 12 years old.