Global Strategy for Cervical Cancer Elimination

Every year, cervical cancer continues to impact hundreds of thousands of women, families, and communities, even though we have all the tools we need to prevent it and even eliminate it completely. Access to vaccines, screening and treatment continues to be scarce in the places that need them most. Vaccines prevent human papillomavirus (HPV) infections, in turn preventing cervical cancer and other HPV-related cancers.

WHO’s Global Strategy for Cervical Cancer Elimination, launched on 17 November 2020, lays out a clear path to eliminating the disease through vaccination, screening and treatment. New evidence for a single-dose vaccine, and updated recommendations to simplify and increase access to screening and treatment, will reduce barriers to implementing WHO’s strategy. The strategy sets out 3 clear targets to meet by 2030 to put countries on the path to elimination:

  • 90% of girls vaccinated against HPV by age 15
  • 70% of women screened with a high-performance test by age 35 and again at 45
  • 90% of women with cervical disease receiving treatment

Facts About Cervical Cancer

  • Every two minutes, a woman dies from cervical cancer.
  • It is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide.
  • It disproportionately impacts women and their families in low and middle-income countries.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO)’s 2022 global recommendation for one-dose HPV vaccine schedules significantly reduced barriers to scaling up vaccination programs.
  • Annual deaths from cervical cancer will likely reach 410 000 by 2030 if we do not change course.

Bringing Cancer Treatment Where None Exists

In Africa, cancer is the leading cause of death. It claims more lives than HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. For cancer patients in the US, 60-70% will receive some form of necessary radiation therapy whereas the vast majority of people living in developing nations do not have access to this crucial treatment. The reason is simple – there is a lack of radiation equipment. The worldwide standard for cancer care is that there should be one radiation megavoltage machine for every 100,000 to 200,000 people living in a region.

ProVention Health Partners with Radiating Hope

ProVention Health Foundation has partnered with Radiating Hope to bring cancer screening and vaccination best practices everywhere radiation equipment is placed. We will work with the local healthcare providers to develop the most sustainable process possible to educate the population and implement an effective cancer screening and prevention program.

Radiating Hope is dedicated to advancing cancer in developing countries by addressing this vital need. Radiating Hope is a nonprofit focused on appropriate and necessary treatment and equipment for cancer care. Their mission is to improve cancer care, specifically radiation oncology care, around the globe.

FAQs About Cervical Cancer

Q: Can cervical cancer be cured if detected early? A: Yes, early detection significantly improves treatment outcomes. Regular screenings can detect precancerous changes that can be treated before cancer develops.

Q: At what age should women start getting screened for cervical cancer? A: Women should start getting regular Pap tests at age 21. HPV testing may be recommended for women aged 30 and older.

Q: Is cervical cancer hereditary? A: While most cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV infection, a small percentage may have a genetic component. However, the majority of cases are not hereditary.

Q: Are there any lifestyle changes that can reduce the risk of cervical cancer? A: Yes, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including quitting smoking, practicing safe sex, and getting vaccinated against HPV, can significantly lower the risk of cervical cancer.

Closing Thoughts

Cervical cancer is a preventable disease, and knowledge is our best defense. By understanding the risk factors, symptoms, and prevention methods, we can take proactive steps to protect our health. Regular screenings and vaccinations are essential tools in the fight against cervical cancer. Together, let’s raise awareness and empower women to prioritize their cervical health. Stay informed, stay healthy.

 

Source: World Health Organization (WHO)