Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death for women in developing countries. Each year, 270,000 women die needlessly from a disease that is 100% preventable. Approximately 80% of these deaths occur in low-resource countries, where less than 1% of HIV positive women are being screened for the disease. Unfortunately, the survival rate for cervical cancer in sub-Saharan Africa is 20%, compared to 80% in the U.S. Even more astonishing is that because of our advances in treatment for HIV/AIDS, women in sub-Saharan Africa – the epicenter of the pandemic –women are living with HIV, but are dying from cervical cancer because of the lack of screenings.
Like millions of mothers around the world, Adjaratou Kinda worries about her children’s future. How will they fare in school? Will they be healthy and happy? But tragically, she must now also worry about how her five children will survive without their mother. Mrs. Kinda is one of more than 470,000 women diagnosed each year with cervical cancer, a prognosis that, in her West African home of Burkina Faso, is tantamount to a death sentence. Like far too many women in the developing world, by the time Mrs. Kinda learned of her diagnosis, the cancer had already metastasized, spreading beyond the point where treatment was a viable option. What makes Mrs. Kinda’s story all the more heartbreaking is that a simple screening test, available for less than the cost of a dinner out with your family, could have prevented her fate and saved her children the anguish of growing up without their mother. Learn more about what is being done to stop this silent killer of women. Click here.