Cervical cancer disproportionately affects low- and middle- income countries (LMICs). 87 percent of deaths from cervical cancer occur in under-resourced settings even though it is preventable and treatable, especially in precancerous or early stages. LMICs often face challenges in health infrastructure and delivery systems, which make the application of screening and treatment methods used in developed regions, such as pap smears, difficult to implement in countries with restricted resources. To reduce the incredible disparity of the cervical cancer burden on LMICs, global efforts, including those of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, are ongoing to increase access to effective, high-quality screening and treatment services.
A recent article, “Cervical Precancer Treatment in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Technology Overview,” published in the Journal of Global Oncology, co-authored by Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon’s CEO, Celina Schocken, and experts from Basic Health International, and the U.S. National Cancer Institute, provides a succinct synopsis of tools available in LMICs for the treatment of cervical pre-cancer. This review outlines treatment methods, including the loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP), cryotherapy, thermocoagulation, CryoPen and CryoPop, their histories, advantages, limitations, costs and other requirements, as well as their endorsement status by regulatory agencies and the World Health Organization. The authors also explore innovate treatment methods in development.
Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon seeks to create and test innovate approaches to sustainability, financing, service delivery, and laboratory and data systems that can be scaled up and used globally.
By Crystal Cazier, Associate, George W. Bush Institute and Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon