Achieving cervical cancer elimination among Indigenous women

Lisa J. Whop, Megan A. Smith, Tamara L. Butler, Anna Adcock, Karen Bartholomew, Marc T. Goodman, Rachel L. Winer, Elizabeth Milosevic, Beverley Lawton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Achieving the World Health Organisation (WHO) cervical cancer elimination target of fewer than four new cases per 100,000 woman-years requires scaling up HPV vaccination of girls, cervical screening, and pre-cancer and cancer treatment. We reviewed data from four high-income colonised countries (Australia, Canada, Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ), and the United States (US)) to identify how each is currently performing compared to the cervical cancer incidence elimination and triple-intervention targets, nationally and in Indigenous women. We also summarise barriers and enablers to meeting targets for Indigenous women. 

To achieve elimination, cervical cancer incidence must be reduced by 74% in Indigenous women in Australia, and 63% in Maori women in NZ; data were not published in sufficient detail to compare incidence in Indigenous women in Canada or the US to the WHO target. Only Australia meets the vaccination coverage target, but uptake appears comparatively equitable within Australia, NZ and the US, whereas there appears to be a substantial gap in Canada. Screening coverage is lower for Indigenous women in all four countries though the differential varies by country. Currently, only Australia universally offers HPV-based screening. Data on pre-cancer and cancer treatment were limited in all countries. 

Large inequities in cervical cancer currently exist for Indigenous peoples in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US, and elimination is not on track for all women in these countries. Current data gaps hinder improvements. These countries must urgently address their systemic failure to care and provide health care for Indigenous women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106314
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume144
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

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