Cervical cancer takes its greatest toll in the countries whose economies and health systems are poorest.
Women in those places are less likely than those in rich countries to get regular Pap tests to detect the cancers when it can be treated effectively.
Of the 275,000 women who die of cervical cancer each year, more than 85 percent, or at least 234,000, are in low-income countries.
But a vaccine that can prevent cervical cancer could go a long way toward lowering the risk in those less developed countries. Problem is, the shots are pretty expensive.
In the U.S., vaccines against human papillomavirus the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention $100 or more per shot. Private buyers in the U.S. pay even more. Three doses are recommended.
Now, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, makers of the HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix, respectively, have agreed to lower the prices for their vaccines to less than $5 a shot.
Until now, the best price available to public sector buyers was $13, according to the , which brokered the deal.
(From Shots: Health News from NPR)
Lift your Skirt for a Pap Smear
The Singapore Cancer Society raises awareness for cervical cancer and invites Singapore women to free pap smear screenings in May 2013. Each year, 200 women are newly diagnosed with the preventable disease and 70 die from it.
Cervical Cancer Screening in Zambia. HIV positive women are at a higher risk of developing cervical cancer, so finding low cost, effective screening methods like the acetic acid (vinegar) swab are important. This blog has previously posted on a similar program in Botswana.
Cervical Cancer’s Toll in the Developing World
Cervical cancer, which is largely preventable and treatable, is the third most common cancer in women around the world. Around 275,000 women die each year from the disease and nearly 90% of these deaths occur in the developing world.
(From The American Cancer Society)
It’s Cervical Health Awareness Month, so here’s a handy infographic. Does your cervix need a check up in 2013? Make an appointment at your local Planned Parenthood health center: http://bit.ly/Vnj9L2.
(CNN) — Only innovation can reduce illness and poverty in Africa, according to a program that is funding creative approaches to healthcare in developing countries.
In countries such as Tanzania, where nearly 4,500 women die annually from the disease, the problem is exacerbated by an acute shortage of medical experts and a lack of quality screening services, especially in rural areas.
But now a group of Canadian and Tanzanian health innovators have joined forces to apply simple and safe mobile technologies to improve cervical cancer screening and thus potentially reduce mortality rates in the East African country.
The idea is to send teams of two trained non-physician healthcare workers in remote Tanzania to examine women living several hours away from health centers. The nurses, who will be equipped with cervical screening and treatment tools as well as standard smartphones, will take a photograph of the cervix with their phone and send it via SMS to a medical expert in a specialized clinic.
Trained doctors will then be able to review the image immediately and text the diagnosis back to the health worker, as well as give instructions about treatment.
(From CNN - Inside Africa)
Most cases of cervical cancer are easily preventable with regular screening tests and follow-up. It also is highly curable when found and treated early. Now vaccines are available to protect against the most common cause of cervical cancer.
(From NY Daily News)