Over the next 100 years, more than 74 million cervical cancer cases and 60 million deaths could be averted, and the disease eliminated in the 78 countries with the highest disease burden, according to two modelling studies published in The Lancet.
The first study modelled the progress that could be made towards eliminating new cervical cancer cases by introducing or increasing human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination coverage, or by combining high levels of vaccination with cervical screening once, or twice, in a woman's lifetime. If twice-lifetime screening is scaled-up in addition to HPV vaccination, then 100% of countries could reach elimination, reducing cervical cancer cases by 97% and averting 74 million cases by 2120. Such a strategy would also accelerate elimination by 11-31 years, the authors said.
The second study included cancer treatment in its models alongside other variables, and analysed the impact of vaccination, screening and treatment on reducing deaths. By 2120, the triple strategy could avert 62 million deaths, reducing mortality by 99%, compared to 90% (45.8 million deaths) with vaccination alone, the study suggested.
Both studies focused on 78 low-income and lower-middle income countries (LMICs). In 2018, 88% of 570,000 new cervical cancer cases worldwide and 91% of 311,000 deaths occurred in LMICs.