Cervical cancer (CC) remains a current global issue, with >90% of cervical cancer cases being attributed to human papilloma virus (HPV). The highest burden of cervical cancer is reported in resource-depleted geographical areas with a high incidence of HPV infection. Recent developments in primary prevention include vaccinations against specific strains of HPV and the psychoeducation of the public. Yet, despite the availability of vaccinations, there is high incidence of both HPV and cervical cancer in developing countries, which is attributed to a multitude of barriers including inaccessibility to expensive vaccines. With regards to secondary prevention, progress is actively being made to develop more effective methods of screening and to specifically address the needs of low-income countries. In the past few years, more novel screening methods, such as self-assessment kits, immunohistochemistry and methylation marker analysis, have been developed. Barriers to screening in resource-depleted countries include limited financial resources and infrastructure to develop screening programmes, a lack of screening programmes that are accessible to populations, inadequate training of healthcare teams and stigma related to medical examinations performed as part of screening. Developing primary and secondary prevention programs, as well as addressing the barriers involved in countries with low socioeconomic levels, can drastically reduce morbidity and mortality rates associated with cervical cancer, thus reducing the burden associated with this gynaecological malignancy.
- Cervical cancer
- Human papilloma virus self-sampling
- Methylation markers
- Primary prevention