A medical doctor who graduated from Airlangga University, Surabaya, and a subspecialist in cancer, Pungky explains the importance for children to be vaccinated with HPV. As a trusted health provider with international standards, Premier Surabaya hospital is offering the HPV vaccine with an inclusive consultation.
Globally, cervical cancer is a constant threat to women in the sexually active age range and 150 thousand cases are estimated to be diagnosed each year in Indonesia alone. Developed countries have higher cervical cancer mortality due to poor health screening compared to developing countries due to higher self-awareness and discipline of women for their own health and support of government health programs to roll-out vaccines.
As a primary prevention factor, vaccines are given to 9-13 years old (sexually inactive) with 2 dosages, and above 13 years (sexually active) with 3 dosages, where the vaccines are used to produce antibodies. Secondary prevention is EVA screening, Pap smears, or HPV testing regularly until reaching 70 years old. This is very important because early detection of cancer matters.
Every woman tends to carry HPV (Human Papillomavirus Infection) in the body. Sexually active women may be infected with HPV, which is usually transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, including sexual contact. It is divided into two types. First is low risk type 6 and 11, also called condyloma acuminata, that often appears as small, light brown, grey, or skin-colored bumps that may be clumped together. The second is the high risk type, including 16, 18, 31, and 33, which have a correlation with cancers of the cervix and it has been found that 99,7% of cervical cancer is due to HPV infection related to continuity.
Cervical cancer is not hereditary, not genetically caused. Instead, it is transferred through sexual activity, causing microlesions that becomes an entry of HPV to the cervix. According to various medical studies, 80% of women who are sexually active will be infected with HPV. Cervical cancer develops very slowly and can take years or even decades for any abnormal changes in the cervix to become invasive cancer cells, but cervical cancer can develop faster in people with weaker immune systems with the process from infection to dysplasia taking around 5-10 years. This can easily be detected if a person regularly takes EVA, Pap smear, or HPV testing. If there is any abnormality found, it can be treated or 100% cured, however, the higher the stage of the cancer, the lower the survival rate of a person. With higher stages of cancer, the treatment may consist of some combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy and involves numerous treatments and processes, that can prove costly.