Maria Blair is the Society’s national vice president, strategy.
SOURCE: American Cancer Society
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.
More on the American Cancer Society's global priority of cervical cancer.
KEYWORDS: Research & Policy, Maria Blair, American Cancer Society, International Women's Day, cervical cancer, cancer burden, global cancer burden