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A future free from cervical cancer could become a reality

Almost 200 countries have committed to eliminating a cancer - cervical cancer - for the first time ever.

A future free from cervical cancer could become a reality


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Almost 200 countries have committed to eliminating a cancer - cervical cancer - for the first time ever.

At this year's World Health Assembly - the world's highest health policy-setting body and the governing body of the World Health Organization (WHO) - 194 countries pledged to introduce three key steps - vaccination, screening, and treatment - which could reduce more than 40 per cent of new cases of the disease and five million related deaths by 2050.

The development represents a huge historic milestone as it marks the first time ever WHO's 194 member states have committed to eliminating a cancer.

The WHO launched the Global Strategy to Accelerate the Elimination of Cervical Cancer on Tuesday and outlined the targets the countries need to meet by 2030 to be on the path toward elimination.

The targets include 90 per cent of girls being fully vaccinated with the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine by 15 years of age, 70 per cent of women being screened using a high-performance test by age 35 and again by 45, and 90 per cent of women identified with cervical disease receiving treatment.

"Eliminating any cancer would have once seemed an impossible dream, but we now have the cost-effective, evidence-based tools to make that dream a reality," said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. "But we can only eliminate cervical cancer as a public health problem if we match the power of the tools we have with unrelenting determination to scale up their use globally."

Almost all cervical cancer cases occur in women who have been previously infected with HPV, with at least 15 types of HPV - a group of viruses - being considered high-risk for the disease, which is preventable and also curable, if detected early enough and adequately treated.

It is the fourth most common cancer among women globally, and the WHO predicts the annual numbers of new cases will rise from 570,000 to 700,000 between 2018 and 2030 if no action is taken.

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dearJulius.com Philippines: A future free from cervical cancer could become a reality
A future free from cervical cancer could become a reality
Almost 200 countries have committed to eliminating a cancer - cervical cancer - for the first time ever.
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