04 February 2016

Blog: Saving Every Woman and Every Child From Cervical Cancer

If you compare cancer rates in the developed world to those in lower-income countries, you’ll immediately see a glaring contrast. Humanity has come a very long way in fighting this disease, but those who live in the developing world do not often benefit from or have access to the prevention and treatment breakthroughs that are available.

One strong example of this disparity is the burden of cervical cancer. Every two minutes around the world, a woman dies of cervical cancer, a largely preventable disease. This may come as a shock to some readers. In the United States and other high-income nations, cervical cancer rates have steadily declined, as we have been able to largely contain the disease thanks to the availability of screening, the HPV vaccine and other factors. Sadly, not all women have access to diagnostic services, lifesaving vaccines or effective treatment options, and as a result the unequal burden of cervical cancer is stark. In the poorest countries, where 85% of the cervical cancer burden lies, women are unnecessarily losing their lives to this disease because we have failed to close deadly gaps in prevention, early detection and treatment that could spare their lives.

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