Sexual and reproductive health

Screening as well as vaccination is essential in the fight against cervical cancer

Illustration of cervical cancer screening in Mongolia.
WHO / WPRO /Nomin Lkhagvasuren

An estimated one million-plus women worldwide are currently living with cervical cancer. Many have no access to health services for prevention, curative treatment or palliative care. Cervical cancer is associated with infection by human papillomavirus (HPV).

Guidelines for the prevention and control of cervical cancer

HPV vaccination of adolescent girls in a school, Brazil.
WHO/PAHO
HPV Vaccination in Sao Paulo Brazil. March 2014

Cervical cancer is one of the world’s deadliest – but most easily preventable – forms of cancer for women, responsible for more than 270 000 deaths annually, 85% of which occur in developing countries. The second edition of WHO's guidelines were launched at the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit in Melbourne, Australia on 3 December 2014. These guidelines could mean the difference between life and death for girls and women worldwide.

Revised WHO position on human papillomavirus vaccines

WHO/C. McNab

24 October 2014 - In an updated position paper published today, WHO revised the number of doses recommended for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines for different age groups.

WHO reiterates its recommendation that HPV vaccines should be included in national immunization programmes, provided that: prevention of cervical cancer and other HPV-related diseases constitutes a public health priority; vaccine introduction is programmatically feasible; sustainable financing can be secured; and the cost-effectiveness of vaccination strategies in the country or region is considered.

Prevention and control of cervical cancer

Document centre

Mongolia: institutionalizing cervical cancer screening in primary health care