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Impact and opportunity: the case for investing in women’s cancers in Asia Pacific

Quick Summary

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer affecting women, with incidence and mortality rates on the rise. Women in the APAC region are more heavily affected by cervical cancer due to factors including inadequate or inaccessible screening and vaccination programmes and socioeconomic causes including stigma and lack of awareness.

In this whitepaper, the burden of women’s cancer (breast and cervical) were examined across 6 APAC countries. Using a benchmarking scorecard, the research examines and compares the quality of policies and programmes to tackle cancer based on recommendations set by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The following regional opportunities for improvement were identified:

  1. Countries must demonstrate greater political will and leadership, and implement and update national elimination plans and strategies to align with WHO targets for cervical and breast cancer
  2. Enhance performance tracking by building immunisation, screening and patient outcome registries for cervical and breast cancer
  3. Focus on primary prevention by rolling out national immunisation programmes (HPV immunisation for cervical cancer) and secondary prevention by rolling out organised population-based national screening programmes (for both cervical and breast cancer)
  4. Referral and treatment pathways for patients should be clear and well defined
  5. Governments should prioritise women’s cancers as key policy areas to achieve national targets for immunisation, screening and treatment
  6. Governments and global funding bodies should devise and implement effective and sustainable funding models
  7. Services and programmes should be patient-centric and tailored to needs of affected populations in different settings
  8. Consider integrated, holistic approaches to tackle resource and capacity challenges

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