Saving lives from cervical cancer, one woman at a time, one day at a time.
For women to live in a cervical cancer-free world by embracing the power of collective engagement.
No woman deserves to die of cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is a preventable public health disease that can almost be eradicated through vaccination, screening and early treatment programs.
HPV, or the human papillomavirus, causes a variety of diseases and cancers in humans, the most serious consequence of which is cervical cancer. Eighty percent of cervical cancer cases and 85% of cervical-cancer-related deaths occur in the developing world. Most women present for treatment in very advanced stages of the disease and therein lies the challenge. However, early detection can easily decrease the number of advanced cervical cancer cases, the financial burden of treating advanced cases, and the loss of life secondary to the disease. Lack of knowledge, poor infrastructure, and limited finances make progress in the foreseeable future questionable. Hence, creative models through which people, communities and societies engage collectively, with people helping people with or without government, are necessary for successful control of this cancer.
As most developed countries such as the U.S. also have pockets of the developing world within them, learning from one another and finding solutions to overcome such challenges is a goal we strive for.
This is the ONLY cancer for which we know the cause (99% of cervical cancers are caused by a virus - the Human papillomavirus (HPV), we know how to detect them in early stages by simple and inexpensive methods (very few cancers can be detected in such a simple and inexpensive way), and we have safe and effective treatments if diagnosed early,*
Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of all cancer deaths among women in the world.
WE CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS, AND YOU CAN HELP!
Unlike other cancers, cervical cancer is a disease of the young. It peaks between the ages of 35-55 years, not only taking the lives of young women but devastating young families with children along the way.
With proper education, regular screening and vaccination, cervical cancer is almost completely preventable.
The Pap test or Pap smear (in which a clinician obtains a sample of cells from the cervix) has reduced the incidence of cervical cancer by 75% in the past 50 years in the United States. Even today, 4 out of 5 women who die in the US are those who have not had a Pap test in the past 5 years. So if you are between the ages of 21-65, get your Pap test today!
Newer screening tests such as the HPV DNA test (where the genetic material of the virus is detected) are more accurate and now commercially available. In addition, self-sampling kits—where a woman can obtain her own swab and hand it over for HPV DNA testing—has also become available. Such advances should help to significantly reduce the burden of cervical cancer in the near future.
HPV can cause also cause cancer of the anus, vagina and vulva in females.
HPV is a virus that can affects males too. While the most serious consequence of the disease is in females, HPV-related cancers in males are on the rise, especially oral cancer. HPV also causes other cancers in men such as anal and penile cancers.
The HPV vaccines that are now available can give near total protection against 70-96% of cervical cancers. In addition, they have been found to protect against other HPV-related cancers in both males and females to varying degrees. Hence, young people, both males and females, should be vaccinated against HPV. Talk to your healthcare provider for more details.
MYTH: The lack of advanced treatment options account for the greatest global inequity in cervical cancer in developing countries.**
FACT: Poor political will and lack of awareness that cervical cancer is a preventable public health problem are the main causes of high rates of this disease in developing parts of the world.
Number of cases per year: 500,000
Number of deaths per year: 275,000***
EVERY TWO MINUTES, a woman dies of cervical cancer - a cancer that can be almost completely prevented!
YOU can make a difference! JOIN The Global Initiative Against HPV and Cervical Cancer today. Become a champion/member to find long-term solutions to this preventable disease.