Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer among women and has become the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths across the globe. The deadly disease accounts for around 300,000 deaths annually. Appropriate screening methods and diagnostic tests help in early detection of cervical cancer. The global cervical cancer diagnostic tests market is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 6.10% during the period between 2014 and 2020. The overall market was worth US$5.9 bn in 2013 and is expected to reach a valuation of US$8.9 bn by 2020.
Diagnostic Tests in High-Income Nations Curbing Occurrence of Cervical Cancer
One of the most common risk factors for cervical cancer is infection by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Other risk factors include smoking, Chlamydia infection, long-term use of oral contraceptives, family history of cervical cancer, and others. HPV testing, Pap smear tests, endocervical curettage (NYSE:ECC), cone biopsy, loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP), and colposcopy are some of the commonly used diagnostic tests for cervical cancer. In 2013, Pap smear tests accounted for more than 45% of the global cervical cancer diagnostic tests market owing to the high efficacy of the tests at relatively low costs. However, the low cost of Pap smear tests has not helped to decrease the number of patients affected with cervical cancer across lower income countries.
According to a new study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, the prevalence of infection-related cancers such as stomach, liver, and cervical cancers as well as lung, breast, and colorectal cancers has increased in low- and middle-income countries. The increasing prevalence of cervical cancer is a major concern across Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean. In high-income nations, screening programs implemented years ago have helped to curb cervical cancer rates by as much as 4% annually.
Cervical Cancer Prevention Program in Haiti: A Concrete Step to Fight the Disease
In Haiti, around 3,000 women get cervical cancer each year and almost half of them die from the illness. In fact, the country registers the highest rate of cervical cancer across the world. Partners in Health, a Boston-based non-profit organization, has launched a two-year pilot program in Haiti to screen 20,000 women for cervical cancer and vaccinate around 6,000 girls against the strains of human papilloma virus. Zanmi Lasante, the Haitian program of Partners in Health, plans to reach around to 60,000 people, making them aware about the disease.
In the near future, the global cervical cancer diagnostic tests market is expected to gain impetus from the demand arising from low- and middle-income countries. Though these countries lack resources to fight against the disease, development of cervical cancer prevention strategy along with donation of vaccines and other supplies will help to decrease the prevalence of the disease. For example, in Haiti, the U.S. Agency for International Development is supporting the pilot program launched by Zanmi Lasante. To avail vaccines and other supplies for the patients, the non-profit organization is coordinating with drug manufacturing company Merck & Co.
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