30 April 2024

5 fast facts about HPV and cervical cancer

Every two minutes, a woman dies from cervical cancer. Around the world, new cases of cervical cancer are rising at an alarming rate.   Yet routine vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV), the leading cause of cervical cancer, can prevent the vast majority of cases. When combined with cervical cancer screening and treatment, HPV vaccines…, 1. Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide. , In 2022, around 350,000 women died from cervical cancer and around 660,000 new cases arose. These preventable deaths and infections have tragic and long-felt impacts on children, families and communities. Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America and South-East Asia have the highest rates of cervical cancer deaths.    , 2. Almost all cervical cancer cases are linked to HPV. , More than 95 per cent of cervical cancer cases are caused by the human papillomavirus.   HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the world. There are over 200 types of HPV and most have no symptoms. However, high-risk types of HPV can lead to chronic infections and pre-cancerous growths, which is why prevention and screening are…, 3. HPV vaccines can protect against up to 90 per cent of cervical cancer cases., Being vaccinated is the most effective way to avoid HPV infection and can protect against the HPV strains that cause up to 90 per cent of cervical cancer cases.    Many countries have introduced the HPV vaccine into their routine immunization programmes, primarily targeting girls 9 to 14 years of age. But more is needed.   As of 2022,  fewer than…, 4. Cervical cancer screening and treatment are effective and necessary., Routine screening tests are an effective way to detect and diagnose cervical cancer. If diagnosed early, cervical cancer can often be cured by surgery alone.   Cost-effective and evidence-based tools for screening and treatment are available, but too many women and girls simply don’t have access to these interventions through their local health…, 5. Women and girls in the world’s poorest countries are most at risk., Cervical cancer has an overwhelmingly disproportionate impact on the health and well-being of women and girls in low- and middle-income countries, reflecting deep global inequities. Of the estimated cervical cancer deaths in 2022, over 90 per cent took place in low- and middle-income countries. Increasing access to affordable vaccination,…, How UNICEF is helping, UNICEF, in collaboration with donors and partners, is working to increase access to the prevention, screening and treatment necessary to realize the elimination of cervical cancer by: Providing countries with HPV vaccines and diagnostic tests that are affordable, timely and reliable.   Strengthening health systems to ensure they can effectively…