Cervical cancer - policy makers can do much more

Every minute one woman dies from cervical cancer - one of few cancers that is preventable. Tobacco, poor nutrition, the presence of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections are factors which increase the risk of cervical cancer.

Participants of the Women Against Cervical Cancer (WACC) Forum and European Research Organization on Genital Infection and Neoplasia (EUROGIN) conference in Lisbon on 8 – 11 May discussed the achievements and barriers in the fight against the cancers caused by Human papillomavirus (HPV).

The WHO Regional Office for Europe has developed a number of strategies and actions that address noncommunicable diseases including cervical cancer. Cervical cancer morbidity and mortality and the role of the primary health care in primary and secondary prevention of cervical cancer was presented and discussed during the WACC sessions and outside the official meeting.

Participants from European countries, especially experts from the Russian Federation, expressed interest in discussing actions policy makers should take to ensure that health systems meet the needs of women in different socioeconomic situations and in countries suffering most from the impact of the financial crisis. Together with international partners the WHO Regional Office for Europe plans to answer these questions during the regional meeting of national counterparts in cervical cancer prevention October 2012.