What’s at stake: a disease driven by inequities
Around the world, a woman dies from cervical cancer every two minutes. Without action, cervical cancer deaths will almost certainly rise a further 50% by 2030.
Nine out of 10 deaths occur in low and lower-middle-income countries.
In high income countries, girls have the opportunity to be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV) and women are screened regularly and treated early for any pre-cancerous lesions – two important preventive measures of cervical cancer.
As a result, up to 80% of cervical cancers can be prevented.
In contrast, there is limited access to prevention and early detection in low- to middle-income countries. However, even with screening programmes in place, 55% of low-income countries lack access to radiotherapy and surgery services, which are critical in treating cervical cancer successfully1.
Clear inequities also exist within countries, driven by gender discrimination and poverty. In addition, women and girls living in remote areas, as well as refugees, migrants, indigenous populations and other vulnerable groups face considerable barriers to accessing healthcare services.
We must ensure the same lifesaving services are available to all girls and women.