Vaccination and Screening Form a Virtuous Cycle to Combat Cervical Cancer
HONG KONG, July 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — To further inform action to combat cervical cancer, the fourth most common cancer among women globally, BGI Genomics released its State of Cervical Cancer Awareness Report today. This report is released on World Self-Care Day, July 24, 2023, as the WHO notes that self-care – including cervical cancer screening – may be practiced “24 hours a day/7 days a week”.
This report assesses the level of knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to cervical cancer screening and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. By examining these key areas, this survey seeks to highlight the associated barriers and opportunities. 1,878 female respondents from six countries and regions were surveyed: Brazil, the Chinese mainland, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Thailand, and Uruguay.
Despite gaps in cervical cancer awareness, such as 40.0% of women worldwide not knowing that cervical cancer is primarily caused by HPV, the report reveals several optimistic findings. For example, for women aged 21-25 years old, 46.0% of them received the HPV vaccine, which is higher than the global average of 38.4%.
Other key takeaways from the report include:
HPV awareness affects cervical cancer screening rates: Among women unaware cervical cancer is often caused by HPV, 39.1% have never undertaken cervical cancer screening, which is higher than the global average of 31.2%.
More choice, fewer barriers: The WHO notes age-specific HPV prevalence is highest in young women (<25 years) at 22%. Yet, 43.5% of women aged 21 between 25 – the highest among the age groups surveyed – are deterred by meeting a male doctor performing a pap smear. Therefore, women, especially young women, should be offered HPV DNA tests in addition to pap smear tests.
Vaccination and screening form a virtuous cycle: For women who had the HPV vaccine, 82.1% had a cervical cancer screening, significantly higher than 60.6% of unvaccinated women. For women who had undergone screening, 45.8% received the HPV vaccine, which is higher than 22.1% of unscreened women. Informing women who missed national vaccination programs about where and when they could get vaccinated and screened is vital.
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women globally, with an estimated 604,000 new cases and 342,000 deaths worldwide. Few diseases reflect global inequities as much as cancer of the cervix, with nearly 90% of the deaths in 2020 occurring in low- and middle-income countries. “Early cervical cancer detection is vital to save lives and eventually eliminate this dreaded disease in line with the WHO’s global strategy,” said Zhang Lin, BGI Genomics Senior Product Manager. “This study shows increased awareness of women could be the missing link to further boost HPV vaccination and screening rates.”
To read and view country or region-level comparisons, please see a link to access the full BGI Genomics State of Cervical Cancer Awareness Report 2023.
About BGI Genomics
BGI Genomics, headquartered in Shenzhen, China, is the world’s leading integrated solutions provider of precision medicine. In July 2017, as a subsidiary of BGI Group, BGI Genomics (300676.SZ) was officially listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
The CE-certified SENTIS™ HPV test combines self-sampling technology and genotyping assay to detect 14 most important, “high-risk” types of HPV, including HPV -16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66, 68 and 2 “low-risk” types of the virus, HPV -6, 11. HPV genotyping detection is based on Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology based on a large sample volume for each run, which decreases the average testing cost.