Uniting to End Cervical Cancer

Why cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer is preventable and treatable, yet it is still the fourth most common cancer among women and kills over 300,000 women every year. Concerningly, significant disparities exist: over 90% of these deaths are in low-and middle-income countries. Cervical cancer is preventable, yet it is robbing us of our mothers, daughters, sisters and grandmothers and threatening the social and economic fabric of our societies. We have the tools to stop it. Now, let’s make these tools affordable and available to all girls and women, so that together we can stop cervical cancer.

Why now?

Without concerted action, deaths in LMICs are expected to increase by 50% by 2040. In 2018, the WHO Director-General called for the elimination of cervical cancer; and now, the WHO’s anticipated Global strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem provides the roadmap necessary to eliminate cervical cancer within a generation, with clear 2030 targets for HPV vaccination, screening using high-performance tests, and effective treatment of precancerous lesions and invasive cancers. It’s time to work together – across society – to empower our women and rally our neighbors, community leaders, and governments to put all countries on the path to elimination and save millions of lives.

1 Goal. 3 Strategies.

The Path to Cervical Cancer Elimination

Every 2 minutes a woman dies of cervical cancer. We can prevent and treat this disease, and reach the goal of ending cervical cancer by using the following 3 key strategies:

HPV Vaccination

WHO 2030 Target: At least 90% of girls should be fully vaccinated by the age of 15.

The HPV vaccine is a highly cost-effective public health measure that can protect against at least 70% of all cervical cancers. It is a key component of national elimination strategies, but uptake of the HPV vaccine has been slowed by the unequal availability and affordability globally, limiting access for girls living in many LMICs particularly. As a result, globally, only 6% of vaccine age-eligible girls are fully vaccinated against HPV – and the girls most at risk of developing cervical cancer as women have little access to this life-saving protection. If we do not act to reach the 2030 vaccination target in all countries, a whole generation of girls will remain at risk of cervical cancer.

Screening & Treatment of Precancerous Lesions

WHO 2030 Target: At least 70% of women should be screened with a high-performance HPV test by age 35 and age 45 years.

We have the solutions to prevent women from developing cervical cancer by screening and treating precancerous lesions with reasonably priced and effective tools suitable for all contexts and resources. However, coverage remains low, resulting in too many women being diagnosed in an advanced stage when prevention is not an option and treatment may be difficult. In LMICs, fewer than 5% of women have been screened for cervical cancer. We must work to ensure access to effective screening and treatment for all women. We can strengthen integrations across the health system–particularly with HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health services–to maximize efficiencies and improve referral systems to ensure timely treatment.

Treatment & Palliative Care of Invasive Cancers

WHO 2030 Target: At least 90% of women with identified cervical disease receive treatment.

Women with cervical cancer too often lack access to quality, affordable treatment and care. Without treatment, women will develop advanced cervical cancer and die in extreme pain and suffering, with many social and cultural misunderstandings about their disease leaving significant implications on their quality of life. Timely access to quality, affordable treatment, and care, including palliative care as needed, can help slow the progression of cervical cancer to advanced stages and protect the dignity of women living with this disease. We must work to ensure health systems have the capacity to provide appropriate, affordable, and sufficient services for women with cervical cancer.

HPV Vaccination

WHO 2030 Target: At least 90% of girls should be fully vaccinated by the age of 15.

The HPV vaccine is a highly cost-effective public health measure that can protect against at least 70% of all cervical cancers. It is a key component of national elimination strategies, but uptake of the HPV vaccine has been slowed by the unequal availability and affordability globally, limiting access for girls living in many LMICs particularly. As a result, globally, only 6% of vaccine age-eligible girls are fully vaccinated against HPV – and the girls most at risk of developing cervical cancer as women have little access to this life-saving protection. If we do not act to reach the 2030 vaccination target in all countries, a whole generation of girls will remain at risk of cervical cancer.

Screening & Treatment of Precancerous Lesions

WHO 2030 Target: At least 70% of women should be screened with a high-performance HPV test by age 35 and age 45 years.

We have the solutions to prevent women from developing cervical cancer by screening and treating precancerous lesions with reasonably priced and effective tools suitable for all contexts and resources. However, coverage remains low, resulting in too many women being diagnosed in an advanced stage when prevention is not an option and treatment may be difficult. In LMICs, fewer than 5% of women have been screened for cervical cancer. We must work to ensure access to effective screening and treatment for all women. We can strengthen integrations across the health system–particularly with HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health services–to maximize efficiencies and improve referral systems to ensure timely treatment.

Treatment & Palliative Care of Invasive Cancers

WHO 2030 Target: At least 90% of women with identified cervical disease receive treatment.

Women with cervical cancer too often lack access to quality, affordable treatment and care. Without treatment, women will develop advanced cervical cancer and die in extreme pain and suffering, with many social and cultural misunderstandings about their disease leaving significant implications on their quality of life. Timely access to quality, affordable treatment, and care, including palliative care as needed, can help slow the progression of cervical cancer to advanced stages and protect the dignity of women living with this disease. We must work to ensure health systems have the capacity to provide appropriate, affordable, and sufficient services for women with cervical cancer.

About Cervical Cancer Action for Elimination

The Cervical Cancer Action for Elimination (CCAE) is a community of organizations and individuals working together to accelerate global progress towards cervical cancer elimination.

CCAE stands with the World Health Organization’s Global Strategy to Accelerate the Elimination of Cervical Cancer as a Public Health Problem and calls on civil society to rally their governments to commit to national elimination of cervical cancer plan. Civil society will play a significant role in meeting the elimination targets in the WHO Global Strategy.

CCAE builds connections and synergies between organizations advocating for cervical cancer elimination regionally and globally. It provides a forum for sharing information and resources, as well as amplifying the work of civil society and its shared messaging across the world.

In the weeks to come stay tuned for the full launch of our website, which will include new tools, resources and inspiring case-studies that we hope will help ignite a movement for cervical cancer elimination.

If you’re interested in joining the community or learning more, please contact us.