Women in the Czech Republic could soon get free preventative testing for cervical cancer

Women over 35 and 45 could have a free human papillomavirus (HPV) preventive test for cervical cancer

Samantha Tatro

Written by Samantha Tatro Published on 18.08.2020 12:42:00 (updated on 15.02.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Women between the ages of thirty-five and forty-five in the Czech Republic are likely to be entitled to a new test for free from next year. The test will screen for cervical cancer caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). The Ministry of Health's proposal is supported by health insurance companies, according to a report in iDnes.

More than 2,500 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year in the Czech Republic, and more than 400 women die from cervical cancer as a result, according to the Ministry of Health.

Even though cases have decreased in recent years, health officials are working with health insurance companies to vaccinate women between the ages of 35 and 45 against the human papillomavirus (HPV) to help prevent cervical cancer.

“In the last ten years, the incidence of the disease has decreased by 25 percent and the mortality rate for this cancer has decreased by 14 percent,” said Health Minister Adam Vojtěch.

At the moment, insurance companies will cover the cost of the HPV vaccine for 13-year-old girls and boys who can carry the virus. Last year, 60 percent of eligible kids received the vaccine.

Men can transmit the virus and infect their sexual partners with it. The HPV virus can also affect their genitals and may have links to rectal cancer. It can also cause tumors on your tonsils or the root of your tongue.

“By administering the vaccine before the start of sexual life, girls and boys will significantly reduce the risk of developing HPV-associated diseases,” Vladimír Dvořák, chairman of the Czech Gynecological and Obstetrical Society of the Czech Medical Society of Jan Evangelista Purkyně, told iDnes.

The HPV vaccine can prevent up to 90 percent of cervical cancer cases, health officials say. Each year, doctors will detect abnormal findings on cervical mucosa during their preventative exams.

That’s why they prepare recommendations to implement the vaccine for more women. If passed, the proposal would be valid starting in 2021.

“It would help to improve the results in the search for women at higher risk of developing cervical cancer,” added Dvořák.

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