This article provides an overview of cervical cancer and other human papillomavirus (HPV)-related diseases in Central and Eastern Europe (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the Former Yugoslav Republic [FYR] of Macedonia) and Central Asia (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan). Despite two- to three-fold variations, cervical cancer incidence rates are high in many countries in these two regions relative to other populations on the European and Asian continents. In Central and Eastern Europe, Romania and the FYR of Macedonia had the highest rates in 2008 alongside Bulgaria, Lithuania and Serbia, while in Central Asia, rates are elevated in Kyrgyzstan (the highest rates across the regions), Kazakhstan and Armenia. In each of these countries, at least one woman in 50 develops cervical cancer before the age of 75. The high cervical cancer burden is exacerbated by a lack of effective screening and an increasing risk of death from the disease among young women, as observed in Belarus, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan. In several countries with longstanding cancer registries of reasonable quality (Belarus, Estonia and the Russian Federation), there are clear birth cohort effects; the risk of onset of cervical cancer is increasing in successive generations of women born from around 1940-50, a general phenomenon indicative of changing sexual behaviour and increasing risk of persistent HPV infection. There are limited data for other HPV-related cancers and other diseases at present in these countries. While options for reducing the HPV-related disease burden are resource-dependent, universal HPV vaccination with enhanced screening would maximally reduce the burden of cervical cancer in the countries within the two regions. It is hoped that the expanded second edition of the European Guidelines will finally kick-start effective interventions in many of these countries that still lack organised programmes. This article forms part of a regional report entitled "Comprehensive Control of HPV Infections and Related Diseases in the Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia Region" Vaccine Volume 31, Supplement 7, 2013. Updates of the progress in the field are presented in a separate monograph entitled "Comprehensive Control of HPV Infections and Related Diseases" Vaccine Volume 30, Supplement 5, 2012.
Keywords: Central Asia; Central Europe; Cervix; Eastern Europe; HPV; Incidence; Mortality; Neoplasms; Screening; Trends.
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