SEATTLE, July 13, 2017 – The International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology this week released a series of papers with recommendations on state-of-the-art cervical cancer prevention tools and strategies that could lead to elimination of the disease in low- and middle-income countries as well as in wealthier nations.
In a call to action published in the journal, 14 global health leaders highlight the impact that human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination has had in recent years in high-income countries, with dramatic decreases in HPV infection and associated cervical disease.
They urge the health community to increase HPV vaccination everywhere and to accelerate cervical precancer screening and treatment for women who are beyond vaccination age to reduce incidence and mortality worldwide.
Leading experts from organizations such as the International Agency for Research on Cancer, major universities, nongovernmental organizations, and ministries of health contributed updates based on the latest research, intended to benefit decision-makers responsible for women’s health programs.
The papers, combined into a single-volume supplemental issue, address technical and programmatic issues. They also make recommendations related to HPV vaccination, screening and treatment of precancer, data systems, integration of cancer prevention with other reproductive health services, the costs of prevention, advocacy for additional resources, and challenges related to scaling up programs so that they reach all women in need.
The issue’s guest editor, Dr. Vivien Tsu, is associate director of PATH’s Reproductive Health program. She notes in her editorial, “In the past 25 years, the view of cervical cancer has changed from resigned acceptance of a seemingly inevitable and inequitable blight to guarded optimism that we are on the brink of eliminating this dreaded disease that has taken so many women in the prime of their lives. Preventing cervical cancer has been largely accomplished in wealthier countries; failing to use the tools and knowledge we now have at hand to accord women in low-resource settings the same lifesaving opportunity is unthinkable.”
The full supplement and individual papers are available for free download from http://bit.ly/2u0TujB.
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For more about PATH’s work in women’s cancers, please visit https://www.path.org/our-work/womens-cancers.php