Conquering Cervical Cancer in the Commonwealth: Addressing Myths and Misconceptions

Accurate and reliable health information is a cornerstone of effective public health. Conversely, there is a growing body of evidence demonstrating that misinformation, misconceptions and myths spread fast and have substantial negative impacts on population health, such as by reducing confidence in vaccines or promoting unproven cancer treatments. In light of this, the global movement to eliminate cervical cancer needs to recognise and integrate measures to dispel myths, misconceptions and misinformation surrounding cervical cancer.

This document has been developed through the work of the International Taskforce on Cervical Cancer Elimination in the Commonwealth, a recently launched taskforce of advisers and advocates that aims to accelerate national and Commonwealth action on cervical cancer elimination goals. The document comes in response to concerns around a growing body of myths and misconceptions that has the potential to contribute to vaccine hesitancy and affect participation in cervical cancer prevention and control programmes. It compiles some of the most common myths and misconceptions surrounding HPV and cervical cancer and provides a starting point for different actors to develop effective messages to counter these in policy and programmes to eliminate cervical cancer. The document seeks to group these myths and misconceptions into core ‘themes’ with a common action or message supported by evidence. The information in this document provides a starting point to develop messages that are adapted to national or regional contexts.

Resource Information
Type of Resource: 
Publish Date: 
22 June 2022
Last update: 
Wednesday 22 June 2022