Cervical Cancer

Fast Facts

  • Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer, yet it remains one of the most common causes of death for women.
  • Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women globally, with an estimated 604,000 new cases and 342,000 deaths annually.
  • Nearly 90% of new cases and deaths worldwide occur in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) types (16 and 18) are responsible for nearly 50% of high grade cervical pre-cancers.
    Women living with HIV are 6 times more likely to develop cervical cancer compared to women without HIV.
  • Vaccination against HPV and screening and treatment of pre-cancer lesions is a cost-effective way to prevent cervical cancer.
  • Cervical cancer can be cured if diagnosed at an early stage and treated promptly.
  • Comprehensive cervical cancer control includes primary prevention (vaccination against HPV), secondary prevention (screening and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions), tertiary prevention (diagnosis and treatment of invasive cervical cancer) and palliative care.


Global Strategy to Eliminate Cervical Cancer
IGCS supports the World Health Organization's Global Strategy to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health problem.

To eliminate cervical cancer, all countries must reach and maintain an incidence rate of below 4 per 100,000 women. Achieving that goal rests on three key pillars and their corresponding targets:

  • vaccination: 90% of girls fully vaccinated with the HPV vaccine by the age of 15;
  • screening: 70% of women screened using a high-performance test by the age of 35, and again by the age of 45;
  • treatment: 90% of women with pre-cancer treated and 90% of women with invasive cancer managed.

Each country should meet the 90–70–90 targets by 2030 to get on the path to eliminate cervical cancer within the next century.

Additional Resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides information, US statistics, and resources related to ovarian cancer.

The National Cancer Institute  (NCI) is a reliable source for in-depth information about many cancers including prevention, screening, treatment and research for cervical cancer.

The World Health Organization (WHO) calls for global action to eliminate cervical cancer and in 2020, the World Health Assembly adopted the Global Strategy for cervical cancer elimination.

View common myths and misconceptions about cervical cancer, HPV, and HPV vaccination in the document: Conquering Cervical Cancer in the Commonwealth: Addressing Myths and Misconceptions 

By The Commonwealth and Union for International Cancer Control

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