ACS CAN calls on Congress to take action to end deaths from cervical cancer globally
Deaths from cervical cancer can be eliminated around the world if investments are made in vaccines and screenings in low-and middle-income countries.
In a new ACS CAN report, entitled “Saving Women’s Lives: Accelerating Action to Eliminate Cervical Cancer Globally,” ACS CAN examined the rapidly growing rates of cervical cancer in low-and middle-income countries and outlined why Congress should act now.
Cervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women. Over the last 30 years, however, the cervical cancer death rate in the U.S. has gone down by more than 50%. We have made real progress in this country because we know what to do to save lives from cervical cancer and we know how to do it.
However, we must begin to tackle this disease globally as well.
Low-and middle-income countries account for 90% of all cervical cancer deaths around the world. Yet, death from cervical cancer can be eliminated worldwide, through HPV vaccination combined with simple and inexpensive screening and treatment.
The HPV virus causes most cases of cervical cancer, but there is a safe and effective vaccine that prevents most of these cancers. In low-and middle-income countries, the vaccine costs just $4.50 a dose, making it one of the most cost-effective cancer prevention methods available.
Cervical cancer screenings and treatments are also critical for early detection and cancer prevention.
By ensuring women and girls have access to the vaccine and to services to screen cancer, we can end deaths from cervical cancer.
Lisa Lacasse, the president of ACS CAN, said, “The report outlines the tremendous opportunity that exists for the U.S. government to join with other international stakeholders and accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer globally. We have the knowledge and tools to make a cervical cancer-free world a reality. The time for action is now and Congress must seize this opportunity to scale up vaccination and screening rates around the world to save more girls’ and women’s lives from this disease.”
Currently, less than one-half of 1% of U.S. global health funding addresses cervical cancer. ACS CAN is urging Congress to dedicate a larger portion of the country’s global health budget to address cervical cancer in low-and middle-income countries.
At a briefing for members of Congress and their staff on Capitol Hill, ACS CAN, joined by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), global health experts, the private sector, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), made the case to Congress that they should take a leadership role in this global movement to save many lives around the world.
As ACS CAN’s report stated, “With U.S. investment, we can accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer deaths globally, saving hundreds of thousands of lives. It’s time to take action.”