Cervical cancer is a public health problem and one of the most critical problems is the late diagnosis of cervical cancer cases as a consequence of the weaknesses of the health system and the fears of the population. These variables lead to a higher treatment cost and suboptimal results with negative impact on patient survival. (OPS, 2011) 1
It is estimated that when early diagnosis methods are applied, at least 40% of cervical cancer cases could be prevented. For this reason, it is imperative to direct efforts towards new intervention strategies that allow the identification of cases in early stages of the disease, such as pre malignant lesions. (WHO, 2013) 2
Cervical cancer is the leading cancer among women in Peru, killing a woman every 5 hours. Human papilloma virus (HPV) has been identified as the causative agent of this cancer.
Incidence and mortality from cancer in Peru (source: Globocan 2012)
Why cervical cancer affects and kills so many women in Peru?
Because even though screening for women is offered for free with PAP tests, less than 40% of women has screening due to lack of knowledge, fear of the examination, or low availability of detection / treatment services. Further:
1 OPS, Estrategias de prevención del cáncer cervicouterino mediante tamizaje con inspección visual con ácido acético y tratamiento con crioterapia. Informe del Taller de la OPS para América Latina y el Caribe. Ciudad de Guatemala, 1 y 2 de junio del 2011, Washington, D.C.
2 WHO guidance: comprehensive cervical cancer prevention and control: a healthier future for girls and women. © World Health Organization, 2013