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Access to screening and vaccination could significantly reduce HPV-related cancers in a generation. One country recently took an important step to protect their girls from HPV infection and cervical cancer.
Aisha was wearing her blue school uniform and wiping tears from her face. She’d just been vaccinated, but it wasn’t the shot that upset her. She was crying because her mother died of the very disease she was being protected from—cervical cancer.
Allowing women to collect their own samples for the HPV test makes screening for cervical cancer accessible almost anywhere. For women in low-resource settings this prospect is not only a relief; it’s a potential lifesaver.
January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month—perhaps the only time of the year that people in Europe and North America give even a passing thought to a disease that, in many low-income countries, kills more women than any other type of cancer.