Mortality rate from cervical cancer

Mortality rate from cervical cancer

Mortality rate from cervical cancer

The cervical cancer mortality rate is the number of deaths, with cervical cancer as the underlying cause of death, occurring among the female population (those 15 years and older) in a country during a year.

This indicator is calculated as:

(Cervical cancer deaths / Female population) x 100,000

Data Requirement(s):

Number of women age 15 and older; number of deaths caused by cervical cancer within a one-year timeframe

National cancer registries; vital registration systems; verbal autopsy studies; nationally representative surveys; regression models of mortality estimates

This indicator measures how many women are dying from cervical cancer annually.  It is a proxy indicator for the accessibility and quality of cervical cancer prevention and control programs in a country.  As high-income countries enjoy the benefits of early cancer screenings, drug therapies, and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, the burden of cervical cancer is shifting to low-income countries in Africa and Asia. Within those regions, more women are developing cervical cancer during their reproductive years.  From 2008 to 2010, as high income countries witnessed a decrease in cervical cancer cases, there was an increase in cervical cancer cases in the developing world; in fact, 76% of new cervical cancer cases overall occur in developing regions.  Thus, among the approximately 200,000 cervical cancer deaths reported in 2010, a large percentage of these were concentrated in developing countries (IHME, 2011).

Despite 30 years of medical advancements and investments in health infrastructure, there are still more than 50 women dying from cervical cancer in some countries for every 100 women who are diagnosed with the disease, particularly in Eastern sub-Saharan Africa, which has one of the highest risks of cervical cancer mortality globally (IHME, 2011).  That cervical cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths among women in developing countries – and in some places surpasses maternal mortality – is a distressing sign of stagnation in a disease for which there are simple and effective tools for prevention and treatment (ACCP, 2004).

Collecting cervical cancer mortality data can be challenging, particularly in developing countries, where underreporting is high and many cancer deaths are inaccurately coded or ill-defined by the facilities or agencies collecting the data.  Also, there are different approaches for estimating mortality data in every country, which makes cross-country comparisons difficult.

sexually transmitted infection (STI), cervical cancer

Alliance for Cervical Cancer Prevention (ACCP). Planning and Implementing Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control Programs: A Manual for Managers. Seattle: ACCP; 2004.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). The Challenge Ahead: Progress and setbacks in breast and cervical cancer. Seattle, WA: IHME, 2011.

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