Addressing Cervical Cancer Globally Requires Scaling Up HPV Vaccination, Expanding Screening, Treatment For Women
New York Times: We Have the Resources to Prevent Cervical Cancer. Do We Have the Will?
Mia Armstrong, 2019 graduate of Arizona State University and winner of Nicholas Kristof’s 2019 ‘win-a-trip’ contest
“…Although cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer for women globally, claiming more lives than pregnancy and childbirth, we can save those lives if we can only summon the will. Health experts say that the battle against cervical cancer has two fronts. First, we need to scale up HPV vaccination to prevent cervical cancer. Second, we need to expand screening and treatment for women now in danger. These are relatively affordable, straightforward interventions that can make a big difference in a lot of lives. … But here’s the problem: Only around 25 percent of 10-year-old girls live in countries that have introduced the HPV vaccine, according to WHO estimates from October 2018. … [C]hallenges [to vaccine implementation] are not insurmountable. … If vaccines are the sword in the battle of eliminating cervical cancer, screening initiatives are the shield. … While the Pap test is effective if conducted regularly, it requires a medical structure often lacking in poor countries. So public health experts have experimented with two other screening tests, one that uses vinegar to identify cancer and precancerous lesions, and another that uses DNA to identify HPV infections that could cause cervical cancer. They’re both useful…” (6/10).