Original paper

Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 24, Issue 8, pp 1583-1593

First online:

Recommendations for a national agenda to substantially reduce cervical cancer

  • Jennifer S. SmithAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health Email author 
  • , Noel T. BrewerAffiliated withDepartment of Health Behavior, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
  • , Debbie SaslowAffiliated withAmerican Cancer Society
  • , Kenneth AlexanderAffiliated withPediatric Infectious Diseases, University of Chicago
  • , Mildred R. ChernofskyAffiliated withSibley Center for Gynecologic Oncology and Advanced Pelvic Surgery
  • , Richard CrosbyAffiliated withUniversity of Kentucky College of Public Health
  • , Libby DertingAffiliated withWomen in Government
  • , Leah DevlinAffiliated withDepartment of Health Policy and Management, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
  • , Charles J. DuntonAffiliated withDivision of Gynecologic Oncology, Lankenau Hospital
    • , Jeffrey EngleAffiliated withNorth Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
    • , Maria FernandezAffiliated withThe University of Texas School of Public Health
    • , Mona FouadAffiliated withSchool of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham
    • , Warner HuhAffiliated withSchool of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham
    • , Walter KinneyAffiliated withThe Permanente Medical Group
    • , Jennifer PierceAffiliated withMedical University of South Carolina
    • , Elena RiosAffiliated withNational Hispanic Medical Association
    • , Mitchel C. RothholzAffiliated withAmerican Pharmacists Association
    • , Judith C. ShlayAffiliated withDenver Public Health, Denver Health and Hospital Authority
    • , Rivienne Shedd-SteeleAffiliated withSchool of Medicine
    • , Sally W. VernonAffiliated withThe University of Texas School of Public Health
    • , Joan WalkerAffiliated withUniversity of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
    • , Theresa WynnAffiliated withSchool of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham
    • , Gregory D. ZimetAffiliated withSchool of Medicine
    • , Baretta R. CaseyAffiliated withUniversity of Kentucky College of Public Health

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Prophylactic human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines and new HPV screening tests, combined with traditional Pap test screening, provide an unprecedented opportunity to greatly reduce cervical cancer in the USA. Despite these advances, thousands of women continue to be diagnosed with and die of this highly preventable disease each year. This paper describes the initiatives and recommendations of national cervical cancer experts toward preventing and possibly eliminating this disease.


In May 2011, Cervical Cancer-Free America, a national initiative, convened a cervical cancer summit in Washington, DC. Over 120 experts from the public and private sector met to develop a national agenda for reducing cervical cancer morbidity and mortality in the USA.


Summit participants evaluated four broad challenges to reducing cervical cancer: (1) low use of HPV vaccines, (2) low use of cervical cancer screening, (3) screening errors, and (4) lack of continuity of care for women diagnosed with cervical cancer. The summit offered 12 concrete recommendations to guide future national and local efforts toward this goal.


Cervical cancer incidence and mortality can be greatly reduced by better deploying existing methods and systems. The challenge lies in ensuring that the array of available prevention options are accessible and utilized by all age-appropriate women—particularly minority and underserved women who are disproportionately affected by this disease. The consensus was that cervical cancer can be greatly reduced and that prevention efforts can lead the way towards a dramatic reduction in this preventable disease in our country.


Cervical cancer prevention Human papillomavirus HPV vaccine HPV test Pap test