THE NHS will eliminate cervical cancer in England by 2040, chief executive Amanda Pritchard will pledge today.
Vaccination is set to wipe out the sexually transmitted HPV virus that causes more than 99 per cent of cases.
And cervical screening will catch pre-cancerous growths before they evolve into tumours.
It would be the first time England has eliminated a cancer and will make us one of the first in the world to do so.
There are approximately 3,000 new cervical cancer cases and 850 deaths each year across the UK.
Big Brother star Jade Goody died of the disease aged just 27 in 2009.
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Ms Pritchard said: “To eliminate cervical cancer would be an incredible, life-saving achievement and it could become a reality in the next two decades.
“To achieve our goal we need as many people as possible to take up the offer of screening and vaccination.”
The World Health Organisation would class elimination as fewer than four cases per 100,000 women per year – roughly equal to fewer than 1,200 cases in England.
Around two thirds of women take up cervical smear tests, which are offered every three to five years to all women aged 25 to 64.
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NHS bosses want millions more to come forward for the screening, which detects cervical changes that indicate a future risk of cancer.
At-home “self-sampling” could also be rolled out to boost uptake.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination is offered to all teenage girls and boys in school Year 8 and is set to eradicate high-risk strains of the bug.
The charity Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust said: “We're really pleased that NHS England is pledging to eliminate cervical cancer by 2040.
“The HPV vaccination programme is incredibly successful and has already led to an 87 per cent decrease in cervical cancer incidence in women in their 20s.
“By improving the uptake of both cervical screening and HPV vaccines, we can make cervical cancer a thing of the past.”
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