John Libbey Eurotext

Médecine et Santé Tropicales


Cervical cancer in sub-Saharan Africa: an emerging and preventable disease associated with oncogenic human papillomavirus Volume 27, issue 1, Janvier-Février-Mars 2017


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1 Université Paris Descartes, Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou, Inserm U970, Paris, France
2 Centre hospitalier régional d’Orléans La Source. Orléans, France
3 Global Health Objectives. Genève. Suisse
4 Centre Hospitalier de Libreville, Faculté de médecine. Libreville, Gabon.
* Tirés à part
  • Key words: human papillomavirus, cervical cancer, sub-Saharan Africa, intervention strategy
  • DOI : 10.1684/mst.2017.0648
  • Page(s) : 16-22
  • Published in: 2017

Highly oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are responsible for 7.7 % of cancers in developing countries, mainly cervical cancer. The incidence of this emerging cancer is steadily increasing in sub-Saharan Africa, with more than 75,000 new cases and close to 50,000 deaths a year, a toll further increased by HIV infection. According to the World Health Organization, cervical cancer will kill more than 443,000 women per year worldwide by 2030, nearly 90 % of them in sub-Saharan Africa. This increase in cervical cancer incidence in Africa is now counteracting the progress made by African women in reducing maternal mortality and increasing longevity. Nevertheless, cervical cancer is a potentially preventable noncommunicable disease that can be averted or halted by primary (vaccination), secondary (early diagnosis of situations at risk), and tertiary (early diagnosis of proven cases of cervical neoplasia) prevention. The close links between HIV and HPV justify linking cervical cancer prevention, screening, and management programs with AIDS programs as part of the “90-90-90” initiative of the UNAIDS, both nationally and regionally. Innovative strategies based on effective, rapid, inexpensive, and mobile screening tools, including at best molecular biology as well as vaccination and awareness programs, should be rapidly implemented and evaluated in sub-Saharan Africa.