January is Cervical Health Awareness Month and we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight what gynecological cancers look like for women around the world.
- Cervical cancer, a mostly preventable cancer, is the leading cause of death from cancer (approximately 265,000 deaths per year) in women in developing countries.1
- 85% of cases of cervical cancer are in low to middle income countries (primarily Africa, South America, and Asia).1
- Endometrial cancers are on the rise in countries undergoing socioeconomic transition, which is potentially due to lifestyle changes.2
- Approximately 45,000 deaths per year due to endometrial cancer.2
- According to the World Cancer Research Fund International, “in 2012, the rate of ovarian cancer was more than two times higher in Central and Eastern Europe compared with Eastern Asia.”3
- 58% of cases of ovarian cancer are in low to middle income countries.3
- Gynecological cancers are a high burden in developing countries, resulting in high incidence and mortality rates for even preventable cancers, often due to a lack of access to screening programs.4
So what can we do to change these statistics? Knowledge is power! Educating women, creating screening programs and access to treatment are vital in making a change.
1. Smith, E. (2017). World Cancer Day 2017: how to prevent cervical cancer cases around the globe. [online] Cancer Research UK - Science blog. Available at: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2017/02/08/world-cancer-day-2017-how-to-prevent-cervical-cancer-cases-around-the-globe/ [Accessed 16 Aug. 2017].
2. Varughese J, Richman S. Cancer Care Inequity for Women in Resource-Poor Countries. Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2010;3(3):122-132.
3. Wcrf.org. (2017). Ovarian cancer statistics | World Cancer Research Fund International. [online] Available at: http://www.wcrf.org/int/cancer-facts-figures/data-specific-cancers/ovarian-cancer-statistics [Accessed 20 Aug. 2017].
4. Iyoke CA, Ugwu GO. Burden of gynaecological cancers in developing countries. World J Obstet Gynecol 2013; 2(1): 1-7