Health to launch the cervical cancer early detection programme in 2024

Mar 26, 2024 | Current affairs, Featured, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

Every year, 60 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed in the Balearic Islands.

In 2024, Health will launch the programme for the early detection of cervical cancer, following the pilot test to be carried out over the coming months in a selection of health centres. This pilot programme will determine how to mobilise the target population, women aged between 35 and 65, and will validate the programme before extending it to the entire population.

TDB keeps you informed. Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Health to launch the cervical cancer early detection programme in 2024

This programme aims to detect pre-malignant lesions and cervical cancer at an early stage. This type of programme has demonstrated its effectiveness, as its appropriate and systematic application in certain countries has achieved a 70-80% reduction in cervical cancer incidence and mortality.

The screening or early detection test consists of taking and analysing a sample of the cells that line the cervix. The test performed and the frequency will vary depending on the age group. The new Cervical Cancer Early Detection Programme (PDPCCU), which will be launched this year, is aimed at some 360,000 women living in the Balearic Islands who will be invited to undergo two types of tests according to age group:

Women aged 25-34 years: midwife-performed flow cytology every 3 years. For very low-risk results, this test will be repeated every 3 years.
Women between 35 and 64 years old: Autotoma (device similar to a thin tampon for vaginal use). In very low-risk results, the test will be repeated every 5 years.
Every year, around 60 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed in the Balearic Islands.

Every year, about 60 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed in the Balearic Islands. Cervical cancer is the result of a previous infection by the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is transmitted sexually. However, the vast majority of infections are transient and do not cause any problems. Only 10% of infections become chronic and only these can lead to cancer. It has been repeatedly shown that smokers are more likely to get sick, as their defences fight HPV less well.

The disease can take decades to develop after infection; therefore, most diagnoses are made in women between the ages of 35 and 50. Early detection, before the onset of symptoms, is vital to minimise the progression of cervical cancer.

Early detection and vaccination, are key to the prevention

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that mainly affects the skin and mucous membranes. Infection is more likely if sex is initiated at an early age, if sex is had with different people and if the partner has had sex with several people.

HPV vaccination, screening and treatment of precancerous lesions are key to preventing cervical cancer. The HPV vaccination recommendations of the General Directorate of Public Health are as follows:

Vaccination of girls and boys is aimed at boys and girls at 12 years of age, with a schedule of 2 doses separated by at least 6 months. Health also targets unvaccinated women up to the age of 18 years with a 3-dose schedule (0, 1-2 and 6 months) from the age of 15 years.

Thirdly, vaccination is carried out for people with certain conditions and risk situations: WHIM syndrome (IDP), HIV infection, people with immunosuppression, etc.

In the Balearic Islands, according to data from 2023, the target population for the HPV vaccine for girls born in 2011 was 6254, and vaccination coverage was 47.22%. In the case of boys, the target population of boys born in 2011 was 6773, reaching a coverage of 43.14%.