Americas commit to reducing cervical cancer cases, deaths by 30%
The Ministers of Health of the Region of the Americas have agreed to implement a series of strategic actions to reduce new cases of cervical cancer and the resulting deaths by one third in the region by 2030.
Thirty-five countries and territories of the Western Hemisphere yesterday adopted the Plan of Action for Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control 2018-2030, in the 56th Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), which is continuing until September 27, 2018, in Washington, D.C.
“No woman should die from cervical cancer, which can be prevented, detected at early stage, and treated effectively,” said PAHO’s Director, Carissa F. Etienne.
“Reducing the burden of cervical cancer is possible and the plan approved is an expression of the countries’ pledge to accomplish this,” she added.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the Americas.
Every year, an estimated 83,200 women are diagnosed and 35,680 women die from this disease in the region, 52% of them before age 60.
By adopting the action plan, the countries have agreed to improve the effectiveness and organisation of cervical cancer programmes and information and record-keeping systems and to strengthen primary prevention with the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and information/education campaigns.
They have also committed to implementing innovative strategies to improve cervical cancer screening and the treatment of precancerous lesions.
Efforts will also be made to improve access to services for cancer diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care.
To reduce the burden of cervical cancer, the plan of action includes a target of vaccinating more than 80% of girls from 9 to14 years of age against HPV, the cause of cervical cancer.
The plan also proposes to screen at least 70% of women from 30 to 49 years of age and treat precancerous lesions in all women who need it.