Cervical cancer prevention for all women: Why now? - HHM

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Sunday, 9 July 2017

Cervical cancer prevention for all women: Why now?

Vivien Davis Tsu

In the past 25 years, the view of cervical cancer has changed from resigned acceptance of a seemingly inevitable and inequitable blight to guarded optimism that we are on the brink of eliminating this dreaded disease that has taken so many women in the prime of their lives.
Much of the recent change is due to stunning advances in our understanding of the role of human papillomavirus (HPV) in the development of cervical (and other) cancer and of the virus itself and related biomarkers, which enabled the creation of HPV vaccines and screening tests. But these technologies alone do not tell the whole story, since they would be meaningless without the programmatic knowledge of how best to deploy them in the low-resource settings that need them most. Also essential has been the parallel development of a growing contingent of global and national advocates calling for allocation of adequate financial and human resources and implementation at scale of evidence-based strategies for prevention and effective management of cervical cancer. 

This Supplement focuses on cervical cancer prevention—recent progress, remaining challenges, and priorities for action and investment in the next 5–10 years.