TitleCervical Cancer, An AIDS Defining Illness
AuthorsJack B., Bicknell W. J., Matete S., Mpoti M.
PublicationLesotho Medical Association Journal. 2008 Nov; 6(3):13-21.
AbstractCervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for women in developing countries. Over 83% of cervical cancer occurs among women in developing countries where only 5% of cancer care resources are available (1, 2). The rates of cervical cancer in Lesotho are among the highest in the world (see below).In the AIDS era, the incidence of cervical cancer has drastically increased, as HIV positive women are four to five times more likely to develop cervical cancer than HIV-negative women (3). In 1993, the CDC added invasive cervical cancer as an indicator condition in the case definition of AIDS. In recent years, an immunization has become available that can prevent the majority of cervical cancer (primary prevention). Furthermore, new techniques are now widely available for the direct visualization of the cervix and immediate treatment, which have been shown to greatly reduce cervical cancer rates in a single visit (secondary prevention). This article reviews the epidemiology of cervical cancer in Lesotho and describes prevention, and early diagnosis and treatment methodologies that are now available. Finally, we describe the introduction of a new program to provide “cervical cancer vaccine” to young women in Lesotho.
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