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No Woman Should Die from Cervical Cancer

March 7, 2013

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Maria Blair is the Society’s national vice president, strategy.

In the western world, the deadly toll of cervical cancer has been greatly reduced because women have access to critical services for cervical cancer prevention, screening, and treatment.

However, in many parts of the developing world, cervical cancer is a leading cancer killer of women, causing devastating effects on families and communities. Out of the estimated 275,000 women who die each year from cervical cancer, more than 85% of these deaths occur in developing countries. By 2030, cervical cancer is expected to kill more than 474,000 women per year, at the prime of their lives.

We have the knowledge and tools to prevent unnecessary loss of life from cervical cancer. Recently, GAVI (the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations) committed to curb the threat of this disease. Through GAVI’s help, by 2020, more than 30 million girls in developing countries could have the opportunity to be immunized against the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted disease that is the leading cause of cervical cancer.

Many women and girls around the world are faced with unnecessary and premature death from cervical cancer simply because of where they live. It is the role of civil society, together with our partners in the health, government, and private sector, to raise awareness about the impact of cervical cancer on women and girls in the developing world and to work toward eliminating the threat of this highly preventable and curable disease.

We need to accelerate adoption of the HPV vaccine, increase access to resource-appropriate cervical cancer screening, and increase global resources and attention to cervical cancer prevention and control. The Society-supported Cervical Cancer Action Report Card outlines current global and country efforts in combating this disease. We must ensure this disease is a priority at the global policy level, and that prevention and access to screening and HPV vaccines are included in national health plans.

This year the American Cancer Society will celebrate its 100th birthday as the largest voluntary health organization in the world, and we have made this disease a priority for our global work. In observance of International Women’s Day, we ask for collective voices to amplify the message that no woman should die from cervical cancer. The progress made during the past decades to address the global burden of this disease must be scaled up in the developing world to allow us to finish the fight against cervical cancer.

Together, we have an unprecedented opportunity and a moral obligation to change the course of this disease.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 8, 2013 5:07 pm

    i had it found out with my last baby i carried her to term then doctors said i had cancer i would be dead in six months had operation it saved my life cancer free 31 years God is good

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