Interventions to close the divide for women with breast and cervical cancer between low-income and middle-income countries and high-income countries

Document Type



General Surgery (East Africa)


Breast and cervical cancers are the commonest cancers diagnosed in women living in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), where opportunities for prevention, early detection, or both, are few. Yet several cost-effective interventions could be used to reduce the burden of these two cancers in resource-limited environments. Population- wide vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) linked to cervical screening, at least once, for adult women has the potential to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer substantially. Strategies such as visual inspection with acetic acid and testing for oncogenic HPV types could make prevention of cervical cancer programmatically feasible. These two cancers need not be viewed as inevitably fatal, and can be cured, particularly if detected and treated at an early stage. Investing in the health of girls and women is an investment in the development of nations and their futures. Here we explore ways to lessen the divide between LMICs and high-income countries for breast and cervical cancers.

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