Stories of cervical cancer prevention and control in the Americas.
Witness how the countries in the Americas are working every day to end cervical cancer. Learn the stories of women that survived cervical cancer or who managed to avoid their development thanks to timely detection. Listen to the testimonies of mothers who have decided to vaccinate their daughters against the human papillomavirus to protect them against cervical cancer. Discover the experiences of health care professionals who work every day in HPV vaccination, and cervical cancer screening programs.
Photo exhibit: It is time to end cervical cancer
CERVICAL CANCER CAN BE PREVENTED
Paola, a 39 year old woman in Sucre, Bolivia, was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She had access to timely treatment and received the necessary care. Cervical cancer can be prevented, yet more than 80,000 women in the Americas are diagnosed with this disease each year, and 36,000 die. It is time to
end cervical cancer, through HPV vaccination in girls and screening in adult women.
INFORMING ADOLESCENTS ABOUT HPV
Marislei, a nurse in Goiás, Brazil, informs a group of adolescents during this educational session on HPV vaccines, about the importance of receiving the HPV vaccine prior to sexual debut, to prevent cervical cancer.
VACCINATION AGAINST HPV FOR 9-14
YEAR OLD GIRLS
Carla, Daniela and Stephanie received the HPV vaccine in Sacatepéquez, Guatemala. Since the introduction of the HPV vaccine in the Americas Region, more than 24 million doses have been procured by the PAHO Revolving Fund to support the ministries of health in ensuring universal access to safe, effective and quality vaccines.
TEACHERS, KEY PARTNERS IN HPV
A girl receives the HPV vaccine in a school in Montevideo, Uruguay. When vaccination is carried out in schools, teachers play a critical role in informing girls and ensuring successful vaccination.
HPV VACCINE FOR THE DAUGHTER,
SCREENING FOR THE MOTHER
Elizabeth, a nurse in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago, counsels a mother and her daughter about the HPV vaccine and screening. Cervical cancer prevention should be addressed in a comprehensive manner, informing women about the preventive actions available throughout the life course.
INFORMING WOMEN ABOUT SCREENING
A doctor in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, informs a women on how a persistent infection with HPV can progress to precancerous lesions, emphasizing the importance of having a screening examination.
SCREENING AND TIMELY TREATMENT
OF PRECANCEROUS LESIONS
Anna, a medical doctor in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, examines a women and treats her for a precancerous lesion detected upon screening. Services to screen and treat women detected with precancer can be delivered in primary care centers.
A woman undergoes a colposcopic evaluation, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. PAHO has supported the ministries of health in strengthening colposcopy services so more women have access to these services.
BEYOND SCREENING, FOLLOW-UP CARE
Lourdes from Mexico City, receives a follow-up examination after an abnormal screening test. Follow-up and treatment of women with abnormal screening results is essential to reduce mortality from cervical cancer.
BEYOND THE HEALTH CENTER
Maribel, a medical doctor, explains the benefits of cervical cancer screening to a group in a rural area of Chuquisaca, Bolivia. Information and education about cervical cancer needs to be promoted in all communities, especially those living in vulnerable conditions.
LIFE GOES ON
After receiving treatment, Paola celebrates with her son Víctor that she no longer has any signs of cervical cancer. Early detection and timely treatment were essential for Paola to overcome the disease.
A day of vaccination against HPV in Brazil
This is the line for vaccination at the Municipal School Itamar Martins Ferreira, in Goiânia, capital of the state of Goiás, it is long. Girls and boys (9 to 14 and 11 to 13 years old respectively) wait to receive the second dose of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine. The first dose was applied six months ago in the same place.
Ana Cristina González has been a nurse for 14 years and works in the Health Center of the municipality of Ciudad Vieja, department of Sacatepéquez, in Guatemala. Today, it is her turn to "go to the field" to vaccinate against HPV those girls who did not attend classes the day the vaccine was applied in their schools. On the days that Ana goes out to the countryside, she goes through the town with her thermos vaccine case and the backpack with information and authorizations that the families sign.
Improving the follow-up of patients with high-risk positive results
Doctors Claudia Camel and Ana María Terraza are the two main gynecologists in charge of cervical cancer at the health center in Zone 1, Guatemala City. When women are tested positive with high-risk HPV,come in for a check-up once a year to receive screening and colposcopy. In colposcopy, the doctors use a device called a colposcope to look closely at the cervix for potentially cancerous lesions.
Communication and counseling, part of the comprehensive care at the cervical cancer clinic
In recent years, staff at the Health Center Las Crucitas, located in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, has been offering HPV testing for cervical cancer screening in women and providing treatment for women with precancerous lesions. The program puts special care in the educational aspect. The center has a room reserved exclusively for counseling, where healthcare professionals sit down with each client to explain carefully about cervical cancer, HPV, the cancer screening test and to answer any questions or doubts they may have.