A series of 3 articles just published in The Lancet discuss the present and future challenges of breast and cervical cancers globally.1-3 Each article of the series covers a different aspect of this issue, ranging from geographical mapping of cancer mortality to global policy and proposed interventions.

Every year, 2 million women are diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer, though geographical location is an unfortunately accurate predictor of mortality. Low and middle income countries register 67% of cervical cancer deaths per year, and 90% of breast cancer deaths.

Each article of the series gives different recommendations for reducing the global inequality of breast and cervical cancer mortality. Randomized trials demonstrate that cost-effective strategies, including human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and testing, clinical breast examination screening, and even just improved awareness can dramatically improve cancer-related mortality.

RELATED: Less Frequent Cervical Cancer Screenings May Be Okay After HPV Vaccine

To prevent the now-predicted dramatic increases of breast and cervical cancer deaths worldwide by 2030, political bodies and health care policy leaders must make a major financial commitment to ensure that women in all areas have sufficient access to the appropriate vaccinations, examinations, and treatments.

References

  1. Ginsburg O, Bray F, Coleman MP, et al. The global burden of women’s cancers: a grand challenge in global health. Lancet. 2016 Nov 1. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31392-7 [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Denny L, de Sanjose S, Mutebi M, et al. Interventions to close the divide for women with breast and cervical cancer between low-income and middle-income countries and high-income countries. Lancet. 2016 Nov 1. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31795-0 [Epub ahead of print]
  3. Ginsburg O, Badwe R, Boyle P, et al. Changing global policy to deliver safe, equitable, and affordable care for women’s cancers. Lancet. 2016 Nov 1. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31393-9 [Epub ahead of print]