NHS boss pledges to eliminate cervical cancer in England by 2040

Combination of vaccines, screening and treatment could lead to a cancer being effectively eliminated for the first time

Amanda Pritchard, NHS England’s chief executive, announced an ambition this week to eliminate cervical cancer in England by 2040. The UK is not unique in its pledge to banish cervical cancer to the realms of historical diseases, the first time this would be achieved for any cancer.

The WHO has a target of eliminating cervical cancer globally by the end of the century, which would mean the prevention of the deaths of millions of women. The moonshot has been propelled by two facts: cervical cancer affects a huge number of women (more than 600,000 cases and 340,000 deaths globally in 2020) and yet nearly all these cases are preventable.

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