WHO launches global strategy to eliminate cervical cancer
For the first time ever, the world has committed to eliminate a cancer.
A global strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer was launched on 17 November by the WHO Health Assembly. The Australian Government was one of the co-sponsors of the event.
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women. In 2018, an estimated 570,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer worldwide and about 311,000 women died from the disease.
Effective primary (HPV vaccination) and secondary prevention approaches (screening for, and treating precancerous lesions) will prevent most cervical cancer cases.
When diagnosed, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable forms of cancer, as long as it is detected early and managed effectively. Cancers diagnosed in late stages can also be controlled with appropriate treatment and palliative care.
With a comprehensive approach to prevent, screen and treat, cervical cancer can be eliminated as a public health problem within a generation, says WHO.
Australia played a critical role in the development of the World Health Assembly resolution.
While striving to eliminate cervical cancer within its borders by 2035, the country is also supporting the global community in achieving the strategy’s targets.
Greg Hunt, Australia’s federal minister for health, said: “We now stand ready to work with the international community to take these commitments forward.”