Cervical cancer elimination

Cervical cancer remains one of the most common causes of death for women. Each year, more than 300 000 women die of cervical cancer. Approximately 90% of deaths from cervical cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries. 

At the same time, cervical cancer is one of the most preventable and successfully treatable forms of cancer, if it is diagnosed early and managed effectively. 

Most cervical cancers are caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infections. Prophylactic vaccines are available that protect against the common cancer-causing types of human papilloma virus and can significantly reduce the risk of cervical cancer. 

Testing for HPV-infection as part of a cervical screening programme for pre-cancers of the cervical with local treatment is a second opportunity to prevent cervical cancer.  


UICC works with WHO to eliminate cervical cancer

UICC fully supports the WHO 2020-2030 Global Strategy Towards Elimination of Cervical Cancer as a public health problem. The draft strategy will be presented to the World Health Assembly for approval in May 2020.

It suggests a triple approach:  

i) HPV vaccination 
ii) screening and early treatment of pre-cancerous lesions and
iii) prompt referral for treatment and palliative care of invasive cervical cancer.  

To reduce the incidence rate to 4 cases per 100 000 women per year, each country must reach the following 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. 

WHO estimates that achieving and sustaining the 90:70:90 targets will avert 70 million new cases of cervical cancer and 62 million deaths in the coming decades. 

UICC is partnering with the WHO-led Cervical Cancer Elimination Initiative (CCEI) rallying members and partners behind a sense of urgency to drive national commitments to the elimination of cervical cancer. 

How can civil society organisations help mobilise national support for the global strategy?

  • Use the UICC template letter to reach out to your own government for national action
  • Urge your government to make a 2022 SMART commitment to mobilise early action towards the 2030 goals.
  • Add your own commitment to drive national action – big or small – to the UICC 2022 SMART commitments launched on World Cancer Day, 4th of February. 

External links

NCD Allicance Webinar from 18 December 2019

Presentation on cervical cancer elimination by Julie Torode, PhD
Director, Special Projects, Union for International Cancer Control (from16' 50s to 32' 40s)

Last update: 
Tuesday 28 January 2020
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