, Volume 24, Issue 8, pp 1583-1593
Date: 05 Jul 2013

Recommendations for a national agenda to substantially reduce cervical cancer

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Abstract

Purpose

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusions

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.