RADIO NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL
THE HEAD OF SCIENCE at Papua New Guinea’s Institute of Medical Research, Andrew Vallely, says cervical cancer kills 1,500 women a year, more than any other cancer and a rate among the highest in the world.
He says pap smear screening has worked very well in urban areas over the last decade but is not as successful in rural parts of the country where the majority of women live.
Dr Vallely says a simultaneous screening and treatment early intervention program being trialled in the Highlands is likely to be rolled out across PNG.
“I think we are getting to the stage where we’ll soon have the data that can help policy makers develop definitive policy in these areas both for primary prevention, which is vaccination, and also secondary prevention, screening and early treatment,” he said.
Researchers are also looking at the incidence in the community of the cervical cancer-causing HPV virus.