In a first for the whole planet, a country is close to eliminating a whole type of cancer within the near future. Cervical cancer in Australia is set to be a "rare disease" by 2020 and by 2028, it will be so uncommon that it'll be deemed "eliminated as a public health problem."
How are they achieving this?
Over the past 2 decades, since the country initiated their pap smear program in 1991, Australia saw cervical cancer rates dropped by roughly 50% (since doctors were able to catch abnormalities before they developed).
Professor Ian Frazer is the co-inventor of the technology behind the HPV vaccine and he said the following:
“Because this human papillomavirus only infects humans and the vaccine program prevents the spread of the virus, eventually we'll get rid of it, like we did with smallpox.”