Cervical cancer screening and prevention

  • K H Mhlaba Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
  • V Nkwinika Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
  • R L Lebelo Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
  • J C Meyer Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
  • R J Burnett Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
Keywords: human papillomavirus (HPV), human papillomavirus vaccine, cervical cancer

Abstract

Despite cervical cancer being a vaccine-preventable disease, and being treatable if diagnosed in the early stages, it is the third most common cancer among women in terms of both global incidence and cause of cancer deaths, affecting mostly low- and middle-income countries. Persistent infection of the cervix with high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV) is the necessary (but not sufficient) cause of cervical cancer. These infections are sexually transmitted and can be prevented or reduced through vaccination before sexual debut, and managed if detected early through cervical cancer screening programmes. This review offers insight into the challenges faced in South Africa regarding the prevention of cervical cancer, and the role of pharmacists in addressing these challenges.

Author Biographies

K H Mhlaba, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

School of Pharmacy, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University and South African Vaccination and Immunisation Centre, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa

V Nkwinika, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

South African Vaccination and Immunisation Centre, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University and Department of Virology, School of Medicine, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa

R L Lebelo, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

South African Vaccination and Immunisation Centre, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University and Department of Virology, School of Medicine, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University and National Health Laboratory Service, South Africa

J C Meyer, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

School of Pharmacy, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University and South African Vaccination and Immunisation Centre, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa

R J Burnett, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

South African Vaccination and Immunisation Centre, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University and Department of Virology, School of Medicine, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa

Published
2020-08-31
Section
Reviews