Video: How we can stop cervical cancer

Tendai Chigurah a nurse mentor with Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) visits, Florence (50) at home in a remote village near Chimombe Hospital in Gutu district.
Zimbabwe 2016 © Melanie Wenger/COSMOS
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Cervical cancer is preventable and treatable—so why did 300,000 women die of this disease in 2018? Cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus—HPV—a common sexually transmitted infection. The infection can be prevented with a vaccine, but many low- and middle-income countries can't afford to provide it. Pre-cancerous lesions or tumors can be removed if they are found early enough. But regular screenings and prompt treatment remain out of reach for many. A woman's chances of survival should not depend on where she lives. Read more about cervical cancer and the work Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is doing to help more women survive: Read here


 

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Why are so many women dying of cervical cancer, and how can we put a stop to this?

Despite the fact cervical cancer is preventable, more than 300,000 women died in 2018 alone.

Cervical cancer is caused by the Human Papillomavirus, HPV. A very common sexually transmitted infection.

Most women with HPV don't experience any issues, but for some it can develop into cancer

Luckily, there are ways to stop the infection from developing into something more serious.

The first step is vaccination. Just two to three doses to school-aged children can stop the more severe strains of the virus.

But not every country can afford vaccination programs so many girls miss out.

The second step is screening.

If the virus or any abnormalities are detected, follow-up and treatments can stop the virus and pre-cancer lesions in its tracks.

Screening can also help find the cancer before it’s too difficult to treat.

Tumors detected early can be removed with surgery. But in some countries, screening and surgery aren’t always available.  

And this is where things can get tricky. The longer cancer is left to develop, the harder it is to treat. At a certain point it becomes fatal.

Women all over the world are dying of cervical cancer due to these missed opportunities to catch it early.

The good news is that we have the knowledge to beat cervical cancer, and this is where you come in.

Help us tell the world about the importance of HPV, and cervical screening, by sharing this video.

Together, we can eliminate cervical cancer for good.