The Need for Societal Investment to Improve Cervical Cancer Outcomes in Nigeria: A commentary
Although cervical cancer is a preventable cancer with a well-known natural history, it remains a huge burden in developing countries of sub-Saharan Africa where organized cervical cancer screening services are lacking. Developed countries that have invested on providing organized screening programs have made substantial progress in reducing both incidence and mortality due to cervical cancer. Implementing evidence-based interventions such as human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination of young girls, early detection and treatment of premalignant conditions of the cervix through conventional Pap cytology, HPV screening or visual aided inspection with acetic acid could significantly reduce incidence of new cases at population level. Societal investment for such preventive services and provision of effective treatment for those diagnosed at early stages will yield economic benefits in reducing premature deaths of women at the prime of their productive lives. From a societal perspective, this should be a priority area for national investment towards the achievement of sustainable development in Nigeria and similar settings in Africa.
Keywords: Cancer prevention, treatment, society, cervical cancer