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.
- 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]
- 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]
- 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]