Cervical cancer burden and prevention strategies: Asia Oceania perspective

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2012 Sep;21(9):1414-22. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-12-0164.


The Asia Oceania region contributes to more than 50% of cervical cancer cases worldwide. Yet cervical cancer is one of few cancers that can be prevented through comprehensive screening for precancerous lesions, with their subsequent treatment. Screening with cervical cytology, a very old technology, has reduced cervical cancer mortality and incidence when applied in comprehensive programs with high coverage and high quality assurance. However, of those countries within this region that have set up such programs, many have been opportunistic, had poor coverage, or inadequate treatment facilities for lesions found. Consequently, they have not seen large reductions in cancer incidence or mortality. Some have therefore adopted visual inspection by acetic acid (VIA) and Lugol's iodine (VILI) or human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA assays for screening. With two safe, immunogenic and efficacious prophylactic vaccines licensed, the way forward to reduction of cervical cancer to becoming uncommon is within reach. Where governments have supported high coverage public-health vaccination programs, reductions in disease burden with shortest incubation (genital warts, high-grade abnormalities) are already being reported. One of the biggest impediments is the cost of vaccines that are affordable to resource-poor countries. Other challenges include, infrastructure for delivery of vaccines, plus general acceptance of vaccination by the community.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asia / epidemiology
  • Cost of Illness
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Oceania / epidemiology
  • Papillomaviridae / classification
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / immunology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / mortality
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Vaccination


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines