In order to be able to make a conscious choice, parents need ‘facts’. Figures should be easily accessible to anyone who wants to know. So we can estimate:
1. How big is the chance of contracting the disease
2. How big is the chance of dying or becoming (permanently) damaged due to the disease
3. How big is the risk of death or (permanent) damage due to the vaccine
We are going to take you through the above questions, regarding cervical cancer and the HPV-vaccine.
How big is the chance of contracting the disease, and how big is the chance of dying from the disease?
On the website of the RIVM (Dutch Government), we are informed about cervical cancer:
‘Each year about 600 women in the Netherlands get cervical cancer. Approximately 200 women per year die from this disease. The disease is deadly without treatment.’1
This refers to adult women, whilst the vaccine is given to young girls. But even for adult women, we do not need to worry.
The risk of dying of cervical cancer for adult women is 0,003%.
The death rate for cervical cancer is 200 women per year. If you compare that to a population of 7 million women (21 years and older), a simple calculation tells you that the chance of dying from cervical cancer for an adult woman is 0.003%. 2 (200 / 7,000,000 x 100% = 0.002857%)
Mortality rate from cervical cancer compared with the mortality rate from all other cancers in women
The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) keeps track of the mortality figures of all forms of cancer every year. It is not easily accessible, but for the go-getter these numbers can be found. In the graph below we have compared the death rates for cervical cancer (blue bar left) against the death rates from all forms of cancer in women. (red bar right) The graph runs from 2010-2017, but for simplicity sake, let’s take only the rightmost bar (2017): The cervical cancer mortality was 200 in that year, and the mortality from all other cancers was just over 13,000.2
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