WHO sets strategy to end cervical cancer

Cervical cancer, also known as cancer of the cervix, is caused by the human papillomavirus and is the fourth most common cancer in women, behind breast, ovarian and uterine cancer.  It is estimated that in 2018 there were 570,000 new cases, of which more than 311,000 resulted in death, representing 7.5% of female cancer mortality. Incidence rates are highest in Central and South America, sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia.

In Spain, for its part, the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM) estimates that about 1,900 new cases of this type of cancer are diagnosed each year, and it puts the death toll at 680 each year, 3.3% of deaths caused by female tumors.

The positive side of this reality is that it can be reversed, since this tumor can be avoided and cured if detected in time thanks to an early detection strategy, access to vaccination and adequate treatment. Therefore, the World Health Organization is going to implement a global strategy to prevent the death of up to 5 million women by 2050.

Cervical cancer is most frequently diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 44, which is why the strategy outlined by the WHO focuses mainly on this age group.  The goals set forth in this plan mean that 90% of girls will be vaccinated with all doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine at age 15, 70% of women will be examined with a high-performance test at age 35 and again at age 45, and 90% of women diagnosed with cervical disease will receive treatment, 90% with pre-cancer and 90% with invasive cancer.

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