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Cervical cancer kills more than 288,000 women each year worldwide and disproportionately affects the poorest, most vulnerable women. At least 80 percent of cervical cancer deaths occur in developing countries, with most occurring in the poorest regions - South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and parts of Latin America.

Health care providers in developing countries regularly see women with advanced, incurable cervical cancer. At this late stage, there is little they can do to save women's lives. Even drugs designed to ease cancer pain often are unavailable. Yet cervical cancer can be readily prevented, even in women at high risk for the disease, through screening and treatment using relatively simple technologies. When precancerous changes in cervical tissue are found and the abnormal tissue successfully treated, a woman will not develop cancer.

Major projects
  • Cluster randomized controlled trial involving 140,000 women to evaluate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a single-round of visual, cytology and HPV screening in reducing cervical cancer incidence and mortality in Osmanabad district, India in collaboration with the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai and the Nargis Dutt Memorial Cancer Hospital, Barshi, India
  • Cluster randomized controlled trial involving 80,000 women to evaluate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a single-round of visual screening in reducing cervical cancer incidence and mortality in Dindigul district, India in collaboration with the Christian Fellowship Community Health Centre, Ambillikai and the Cancer Institute (WIA), Chennai, India
  • Studies assessing the determinants of participation in screening
  • Non-randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of information education programmes in reducing cervical cancer mortality in Solapur District, India
  • Multicenter randomized clinical trial to evaluate the comparative efficacy and side-effects of single-versus double-freeze cryotherapy in the treatment of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN)
  • Multicenter cross-sectional studies in Asia and Africa to evaluate the test characteristics of cervical screening tests such as visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA), magnified visual inspection with acetic acid (VIAM), visual inspection with Lugolís iodine (VILI), conventional cytology and HPV testing
  • The performance of low technology visual screening in routine health care settings
  • Screening Technologies to Advance Rapid Testing (START). A project to develop rapid, accurate and affordable biochemical tests to screen for cervical cancer. Collaboration with Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), USA, Nargis Dutt Memorial Cancer Hospital (NDMCH), Barshi, India and Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital (TMH), Mumbai, India and the Cancer Institute of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CICAMS), Beijing, China
  • Development printed and digital learning resources for cytology, VIA, VILI, histology, colposcopy and treatment of CIN
  • Evaluation of cervical screening programmes in Brazil, South Korea and Thailand
  • Technical assistance to VIA screening programme in Bangladesh, India, Madagascar, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia

Web links

National Cancer Institute, Cervical Cancer web page
Oncolink, Cervical cancer web page
Alliance for Cervical Cancer Prevention (ACCP) web page
RHO Cervical Cancer website (produced by PATH)
More links on this page

Collaborative institutes website:
Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital & Research Centre, Jaipur, India
The Institute for Rural Health Studies, Hyderabad, India
Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, India
Trivandrum Regional Cancer Centre, Trivandrum, India

Comprehensive Cervical Cancer Control: A guide to essential practice

A Practical Manual on Visual Screening for Cervical Neoplasia

Colposcopy and Treatment of Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia

Histopathology and cytopathology of the uterine cervix - digital atlas

Planning and Implementing Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control Programs: A Manual for Managers
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