- Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women globally, with an estimated 604 000 new cases and 342 000 deaths in 2020. About 90% of the new cases and deaths worldwide in 2020 occurred in low- and middle-income countries (1).
- Two human papillomavirus (HPV) types (16 and 18) are responsible for nearly 50% of high grade cervical pre-cancers
- HPV is mainly transmitted through sexual contact and most people are infected with HPV shortly after the onset of sexual activity. More than 90% of them clear the infection eventually.
- Women living with HIV are 6 times more likely to develop cervical cancer compared to women without HIV.
- Vaccination against HPV and screening and treatment of pre-cancer lesions is a cost-effective way to prevent cervical cancer.
- Cervical cancer can be cured if diagnosed at an early stage and treated promptly.
- Comprehensive cervical cancer control includes primary prevention (vaccination against HPV), secondary prevention (screening and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions), tertiary prevention (diagnosis and treatment of invasive cervical cancer) and palliative care.