Medical and Scientific: Cervical cancer: the 7-year ditch

01 Apr 2021 - Medical and Scientific

Australia is poised to give the world a masterclass in eliminating a cancer that causes extreme suffering and death for women across the globe. It is aiming to eliminate cancer of the cervix in seven years, an extraordinary goal given the World Health Organisation’s target is for worldwide elimination in 70 years. Globally, about 600,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year and well more than half die from it. The first thing to know is that elimination in this context is not eradication. It’s not wiping out the disease. Rather, the benchmark is getting it under four cases per 100,000 women. By way of contrast, developing countries have the highest rates in the world, some peaking at more than 70 cases per 100,000. This is a difficult cancer to wipe out because it is caused by the human papillomavirus, HPV, which is ubiquitous, silent and sexually transmitted.

Australian Financial Review; 01/04/2021, Page 24