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Jonathan Torgovnik
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Cervical cancer


    Cervical cancer develops in a woman's cervix (the entrance to the uterus from the vagina).  

    Almost all cervical cancer cases (99%) are linked to infection with high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV), an extremely common virus transmitted through sexual contact.

    66顺彩票appAlthough most infections with HPV resolve spontaneously and cause no symptoms, persistent infection can cause cervical cancer in women.

    66顺彩票appCervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women. In 2018, an estimated 570 000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer worldwide and about 311 000 women died from the disease.

    66顺彩票appEffective primary (HPV vaccination) and secondary prevention approaches (screening for, and treating precancerous lesions) will prevent most cervical cancer cases.

    When diagnosed, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable forms of cancer, as long as it is detected early and managed effectively. Cancers diagnosed in late stages can also be controlled with appropriate treatment and palliative care.

    With a comprehensive approach to prevent, screen and treat, cervical cancer can be eliminated as a public health problem within a generation.

    Eliminating cervical cancer

    No woman should die from cervical cancer. We have the technical, medical and policy tools and approaches to eliminate it. The burden of cervical cancer falls on the women who lack access to health services, mainly in low-and middle income countries.

    In May 2018, the Director-General of  the World Health Organization announced a global call to action towards the elimination of cervical cancer, underscoring renewed political will to make elimination a reality, and called for all stakeholders to unite behind this common goal.

    In January 2019, the Executive Board requested the Director-General to develop a draft global strategy to accelerate cervical cancer elimination, with clear targets for the period 2020–2030. A Draft Global Strategy towards the Elimination of Cervical Cancer as a Public Health Problem has been developed in close consultation with Member States, and in collaboration with UN Agencies and other partners and organizations. It outlines key goals and agreed targets to be reached by 2030 and set the world on the track to elimination.(See the Expert group on Cervical Cancer Elimination)

    Following the call from the WHO Director General in 2018, a Draft Strategy for the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem will be put for the World Health Assembly’s approval in May 2020. The Draft Global Strategy outlines the following threshold: we will have eliminated cervical cancer as a public health problem when all countries reach an incidence rate of less than  4 cases per 100 000 women. This should happen within the lifetime of today’s young girls.

    The Draft Global Strategy has three main pillars: prevent, screen and treat, that capture a comprehensive approach that includes prevention, effective screening and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions, early cancer diagnosis and programmes for the management of invasive cancer.

    To reach elimination, efforts must be aligned and accelerated. Every country must reach the following global targets by 2030:

    • 90% coverage of HPV Vaccination of girls (by 15 years of age);
    • 70% coverage of screening (70% of women are screened with high-performance tests by the ages of 35 and 45 years) and 90% treatment of precancerous lesions;
    • Management of 90% of invasive cancer cases. 


    Our work


    66顺彩票appCervical cancer can be prevented!

    66顺彩票appVaccination, regular screening and treatment of precancerous lesions protect women from developing cancer.

    Cervical cancer can be cured!

    66顺彩票appTimely diagnosis and treatment of early-stage cancer has a high potential for cure.

    Vaccination of adolescents against HPV is safe and prevents cervical cancer.

    66顺彩票appIt's the cause of cervical cancer and is the most common sexually transmitted infection.


    WHO guidelines for the use of thermal ablation for cervical pre-cancer lesions

    Thermal ablation, also called “cold coagulation” or thermocoagulation, is an ablative treatment for CIN. The equipment is simple, lightweight...

    Improving data for decision-making: a toolkit for cervical cancer prevention and control programmes

    66顺彩票appThis publication, Improving data for decision-making: a toolkit for cervical cancer prevention and control programmes, expands the support provided...

    Comprehensive cervical cancer control

    This publication, Comprehensive cervical cancer control: a guide to essential practice (C4GEP), gives a broad vision of what a comprehensive approach to...

    Guidelines for screening and treatment of precancerous lesions for cervical cancer prevention (2013)

    Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) is a premalignant lesion that may exist at any one of three stages: CIN1, CIN2, or CIN3. If left untreated, CIN2...

    Mobile Health for Cervical Cancer (mCervicalCancer)

    Digital health and technology can play an important role in supporting ongoing efforts to heighten the prevention, control and management of cervical cancer....

    Comprehensive cervical cancer prevention and control - a healthier future for girls and women

    66顺彩票appThis WHO Guidance Note advocates for a comprehensive approach to cervical cancer prevention and control and is aimed at senior policy makers and programme...

    WHO list of priority medical devices for cancer management

    66顺彩票appThis publication is based on the list of clinical interventions selected from clinical guidelines on prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, palliative...

    WHO Guidelines for the pharmacological and radiotherapeutic management of cancer pain in adults and adolescents

    Cancers are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, responsible for 18.1 million new cases and 9.6 million deaths in 2018. Pain...



    infographic: Cervical cancer can be prevented
    Infographic: Cervical cancer can be cured
    Infographic: Cervical cancer control needs good data
    infographic: Nearly 90% of women who die from cervical cancer have poor access to prevention, screening and treatment
    infographic: Palliative care services are essential to cervical cancer contro
    Infographic: Vaccination of young adolescents against HPV is safe and prevents cervical cancer
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