Cervical cancer is the third most common gynaecological cancer and the second most common in women under 45 years. In Europe, over 61,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and almost 26,000 of them will die of it – each death a tragedy considering that cervical cancer is today a preventable and treatable disease.
The relatively high death rate has been largely attributed to low vaccination coverage and low cervical cancer screening rates among vulnerable women.
Though screening programmes have been shown to drastically reduce cervical cancer mortality, they remain largely inaccessible and underused by subpopulations of vulnerable women, creating inequality in the European healthcare system and adding to the challenges underserved populations already face in their efforts to maintain their socioeconomic and physical health.
Healthcare inequality is at the heart of CBIG-SCREEN’s effort to provide vulnerable subpopulations with functioning access to cervical cancers screening and thus improve health outcomes and reduce associated healthcare and societal costs.
The vulnerable subpopulations CBIG-SCREEN will focus on are women of low socioeconomic status, women living with HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), incarcerated women, sex workers and migrants who may not have had access to cancer screening in their country of origin but find it difficult to navigate health care systems in their new homes.
Our main objective is to attract vulnerable women to CCS programmes, and retain them from initial test to treatment. To do this, we will work in collaboration with these women to identify and develop strategies to meet their varied and specific needs, convincing policymakers to adopt these strategies, and ensuring that programmes reach out promote these interventions to communities of underserved women.