Cervical Cancer in Botswana: Current State and Future Steps for Screening and Treatment Programs

Front Oncol. 2015 Nov 3;5:239. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2015.00239. eCollection 2015.

Abstract

Botswana has a high burden of cervical cancer due to a limited screening program and high HIV prevalence. About 60% of the cervical cancer patients are HIV positive; most present with advanced cervical disease. Through initiatives by the Botswana Ministry of Health and various strategic partnerships, strides have been made in treatment of pre-invasive and invasive cancer. The See and Treat program for cervical cancer is expanding throughout the country. Starting in 2015, school-going girls will be vaccinated against HPV. In regards to treatment of invasive cancer, a multidisciplinary clinic has been initiated at the main oncology hospital to streamline care. However, challenges remain such as delays in treatment, lack of trained human personnel, limited follow-up care, and little patient education. Despite improvements in the care of pre-invasive and invasive cervical cancer patients, for declines in cervical cancer-related morbidity and mortality to be achieved, Botswana needs to continue to invest in decreasing the burden of disease and improving patient outcomes of patients with cervical cancer.

Keywords: Botswana; HIV and cancer; cancer screening; cancer treatment; cervical cancer.

Publication types

  • Review