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WACC Newsletter 12

WACC conference at HPV2010 / July 6 – Montréal, Canada
“Community mobilization: what we can all do to fight cervical cancer?”

A message from Marc Steben,
Chairman of HPV2010

“Why is Pap smear not delivering its full benefits to women around the world?

Pap smear is not a very popular test for women. For some women it is a too intimate test, making them ill at ease. Some women will not sleep for days before that test. Some may even feel humiliating to be in those uncomfortable stirrups exposing their genital area in such a strange way. They hope their doctor if they have one will forget to offer them to do their annual smear. And doctors too frequently will be happy to forego to do a pap smear because it takes more of their time.

Pap smear has to be seen as one of the major public health program making an impact on the life of women and their family of all preventive measures. But because it is involving the genital area and is related to sexual activity, we are unable to mobilize the same type of women leaders that are mobilising themselves for prevention of breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, depression and even HIV… We need to mobilize the community about the necessity and normality of taking regular pap smear for prevention of cervical cancer. Every case of cervical cancer has to be seen as a failure of our preventive care strategy. More than 60% of all cervical cancer are associated with too infrequent or absence of cervical smears. This in unacceptable in our times. It is time that community mobilization enable women to ask their regular pap smear».

!Save the Date!

Oct. 23, 2010 - Casablanca, Morocco
WACC Conference at “4èmes Journées Franco-Marocaines des Cancers Dépistables”



What women need and what women can do to fight HPV and cervical cancer?

“We can implement strategies worldwide NOW that will prevent and detect cervical cancer before it turns into full blown cancer. The more we share our ideas the quicker communities across the globe will see results.”
Teresa Norris, Founder and President of HPV Awareness, Canada, member of the Quebec Cancer Coalition, Canada and of the WACC International Network

What can women and doctors do against cervical cancer?
“There is a lot doctors can do to prevent cervical cancer. Learning about and advocating visual inspection with acetc acid (VIAA) programs could potentially save thousands of lives.”
Dr. Miriam Cremer, President of Basic Health International, USA/El Salvador and member of the WACC International Network

What can science do for community mobilization?
"Over the last two decades, research scientists have made important technologic advances to improve cervical cancer screening and have developed and tested a successful preventive vaccine against the most troublesome HPV types. However, these advances will result in a reduction of cervical cancer mortality only if a large proportion of the at-risk population take advantage of them. Unfortunately, a large proportion of women remain unscreened and unvaccinated. Understanding and then overcoming the barriers to participation in cervical cancer prevention programs should be given high research priority, and will be most successful through partnerships with social/behavioural scientists, community advocacy groups, and health economics and administration experts."
Patti Gravitt, PhD, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA

How to work with women in the community?
"While working with women in the community, it is important to establish an all inclusive forum that welcomes a wide breadth of perspective from a broad range of women in various walks of life. Messages should be clear, concise, scientific and culturally sensitive. Women should feel empowered and ready to take charge of this almost completely preventable cancer."
Dr. Shobha Krishnan, Founder and President of the Global Initiative Against HPV and Cervical Cancer, Medical Advisory Panel member of NCCC, USA, and member of WACC International Network

What can international organizations do to prevent and control cervical cancer?
"New technologies and approaches for cervical cancer prevention can revolutionize public health. Visual screening methods, HPV DNA testing and HPV vaccines are available tools which can be used to prevent cervical cancer. Screening programs, together with HPV vaccination are needed to protect women and girls and dramatically reduce cervical cancer deaths in the coming years.”
Silvana Luciani, Advisor, Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

What can we learn from civil society?
"We witnessed a shift in public implication in vaccine policy through the recent introduction of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in Europe. In close cooperation with medical experts, civil society organisations now provide an important bridge from the science to the lay public. They have become important drivers in the introduction of new prevention programs. As such, they now have an important role to play to sustain public confidence in vaccination."
Vanina Laurent-Ledru, founding President of Univers-Elles, an executive women's network, France, and Director, Vaccine Policy & Corporate Responsibility | Europe/Canada at MSD

The necessary mobilization of all actors. The role of associations and advocacy groups to help fight cervical cancer, with doctors and all stakeholders.
“Now it is time for physicians to raise the consciousness on women needs and for women associations to learn and ask more from the medical community. Today we have at our disposal all tools and resources necessary to prevent the disease from claiming more lives. From now on, we will have to act within our sphere and use our influence to translate advances in research into genuine benefits for women; without solidarity and commitments there is no humanity.”
Joseph Monsonego, President of EUROGIN and founding President of the WACC International Foundation, Switzerland.

Meet the Women Against Cervical Cancer Around the world

Indian Cancer Society, Delhi

The Indian Cancer Society, Delhi has worked in the Delhi area since 1984. Since inception, cancer awareness and screening have been its core concerns. Their Cancer Detection Centre operates from a central Delhi address. A mobile screening van goes out every weekend, carrying screening services to far-flung areas. Both services are offered at highly subsidized rates. Trained volunteers also regularly conduct Cancer awareness talks. ICS recognizes cervical cancer as a major scourge for Indian women. It has an uninterrupted record of cervical screening for 26 years – possibly the longest in India.

ICS celebrated on 9/19 the 20th birthday of its devoted support group,
Cancer Sahyog


The association helps people with advanced cancer and their families making informed choices and decisions and to receive appropriate physical, emotional, social and spiritual support.

Delhi, Sept. 18 - CanSupport medical team and volunteers, led by president H. Gupta and Dr. Rajvanshi, here gathered to hold its monthly free cervical cancer detection camp.

Bethesda Mission

Bethesda Mission is a voluntary organisation, which is working with slum women and street children, in Bangalore metropolitan area particularly and rural and tribal areas of other Indian States.


The Expert Conference for the Eradication of Cervical Cancer

Established in 2008 with the objective of preventing and eradicating cervical cancer through screening and vaccination, The Expert Conference for the Eradication of Cervical Cancer is the leading organization in Japan promoting social activities for prevention of cervical cancer. The organization currently comprises 45 members, including obstetricians and gynaecologists, paediatricians, nurses, midwives, school nurses, and members of awareness-raising.

Actively engaged in making proposals and providing information to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, local governments, assemblypersons, and media, The Expert Conference for the Eradication of Cervical Cancer has also significantly contributed to the approval of the HPV vaccine in Japan in 2009.

Orange Tea (O-Tea)

Orange Tea is a group of volunteers started by a cancer survivor providing not only information about the cervical cancer but also support to patients and their families.


RANKYU is a support group for patients with ovarian and cervical cancer.

Russia Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan

Russian Association for Cervical Pathology and Colposkopy

The Russian Association for Cervical Pathology and Colposkopy was founded in 1997 by Prof. Vera Prilepskaya, under the auspices of the Scientific Centre for Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Perinatology of V.I. Kulakov. The association?s main objective is to develop and implement modern methods of diagnosis and treatment of cervical, vaginal and vulva pathologies. The association is collaborating with more than 600 obstetricians, gynaecologists, dermatovenereologists, paediatricians and general practitioners coming from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The association organises the Mother & Child meeting, many conferences and master classes on cervical pathology and actively collaborates with international organisations such as EUROGIN, EFC, ESGO, ECCA

South Africa


AORTIC Africa, formed by expatriate African cancer care workers, scientists and their friends, is dedicated to the promotion of cancer control in Africa. AORTIC's key objectives are to further research relating to cancers prevalent in Africa; support the management of training programs in oncology for health care workers, and to deal with the challenges of creating cancer control and prevention programs, as well as raising public awareness of cancer in Africa. The Executive members of AORTIC are high-profile scientists from all over Africa volunteering as knowledge workers for the plight of the cancer patient in Africa. Their main value is their ability to gather and analyse information and make decisions that will benefit the cancer patient. They work collaboratively with other cancer organizations via conferences and the internet, sharing knowledge, learning from each other and disseminating relevant ideas and research to the cancer community.


SUVAK (New Hope in Health Foundation)

New Hope in Health Organization (SUVAK) is a non-governmental organization aiming to facilitate the development of treatments, and consequent necessary technologies for every sort of disease caused by genetic damage, that may arise at birth or later in life. SUVAK today gathers 18 NGOs and patient groups.

United States of America

Global Initiative Against HPV and Cervical Cancer (GIAHC)

GIAHC serves as a platform to empower people, communities and societies to reduce the disease burden from HPV and cervical cancers through collective engagement, advocacy, collaboration and education. The Volunteer program: GIAHC?s international work offers its members a unique window to the world. All volunteers participating in GIAHC international programs are Global Coalition members. Programs channel Global Coalition members? creativity, ideas, and energy into developing real and meaningful change through personal involvement in projects abroad. Members join with local partners, and by sharing their skills and experiences, help strengthen their presence in local communities. Students, researchers and volunteers gain insight and understanding about the challenges and possibilities of global health. This type of humanitarian effort gives Global Coalition members the opportunity to be a part of making change while still pursuing your profession and personal lives.


Generation Hope Advocacy for Cervical Cancer (GHACC)
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Its common interest is to advocate for a health cancer free future. GHACC is currently working within the six districts of the Central Province of Zambia with the aim to fight cervical cancer and related illnesses, targeting both females and males who are sexually active. Actions: through awareness campaigns i.e. door-to-door, workshops and discussions on community or local radio programmes. Advocating for early screening, detection and treatment for cervical cancer, amongst the school going age groups, out of school youth and general community members both in urban and rural areas.

The WACC Taskforce
Life of the WACC Network

AURORA: European network on cervical cancer surveillance and control in the new Member States

By Cristina Brusati, Osservatorio Nazionale Sulla Salute Della Donna (O.N.Da)

AURORA project aims to identify a common and feasible strategy to promote Cervical Cancer Screening in the New EU Member States targeting women in the reproductive age (30-69 years old) and ensuring the coverage of the hard to reach groups, assist the New EU Member States in the implementation of evidence-based screening for cervical cancer and promote a European exchange of information and expertise on the development and implementation of good practices in Cervical Cancer Prevention and Advocacy. Knowledge acquired through AURORA will be disseminated in the EU, particularly to EU 12 Member States: Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Czech republic, Cyprus, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and Poland. In addition, AURORA will also foster appropriate coordination and synergies among Community initiatives regarding the collection of comparable data on major diseases, including cancer.

AURORA will be structured in 6 macro-tasks. Firstly, the project partners will carry out the analysis of the local context studying the literature in the participating countries concerning Cervical Cancer Epidemiology, Screening programmes and presentation of the project target group needs. The analysis of the local context will be useful to the identification and analysis of good practices and strategies in the fight against Cervical Cancer to promote the Cervical Cancer Screening among the project target groups.

Then, AURORA will organise a training course for healthcare professionals and a training course for advocacy leaders. Both the courses will be organized at EU level but specific modules will be targeted on the partner local needs and specific situation of the cervical cancer screening.
Moreover, AURORA consortium will establish a network of pilot centres already performing Cervical Cancer Screening to test the AURORA methodology involving trained, during the project, healthcare professionals.

Finally, thanks to the mapping and analysis of all the prevention and training actions implemented in the participating countries, an E-Learning environment will be developed to serve all the users of the participating countries interested to be trained on the project issues.
According to its objectives and activities, AURORA expected outcomes will be to analyse to local context to organize more effective training courses and prevention activities in the participating countries, to identify good practices to increase in the participating countries the number of cervical screening tests thanks to the sharing of the good practices and the transfer of the project results to the not participating countries, train healthcare professionals and advocacy leaders, increase the number of screened people thanks to the pilot action and finally, to transfer the knowledge of AURORA partners to the healthcare professionals of the participating countries thanks to the e-learning environment.

European Partnership - Action Against Cancer

By Hildrun Sundseth, European Institute of Women’s Health, former Head of EU Policy, European Cancer Patient Coalition.

The Commission launched the Cancer Partnership in September 2009 to invigorate Europe’s fight against cancer. With more than 3 million new cancer cases and 1.7 million deaths each year, cancer is the second biggest cause of death in Europe after cardiovascular disease. However, we know that at least one third of cancers could be prevented and now we have the political will to act. The European Cancer Partnership has set an ambitious target to reduce new cancer cases by 15% by the year 2020. To that end the aptly named Partnership will bring together key stakeholders from member states to step up the fight against cancer with a joint action program.

This timely initiative has the opportunity to reduce the increasing burden of cancer across the 27 Member States of the European Union. Currently one in three people are diagnosed with cancer at one time in their life. These figures are set to increase dramatically as the population ages, if action is not taken now to invest in best practice of prevention, treatment and care across the EU-27.

Breast, cervical and ovarian cancer are a threat to women’s health, claiming still for too many women lives or causing illness, despair and untold suffering. We now have the tools to prevent cervical cancer, which takes an especially heavy toll in Central and Eastern European countries Estonia and Lithuania. It will be good news for all members of the WACC International Network to learn that the Communication calls for 100% population coverage of screening for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer by the year 2013.

With the combined approach of HPV vaccination and cervical screening, Europe has the most powerful weapons to prevent cervical cancer. However, we know barriers still exist in many EU countries. With the European Cancer Partnership, we have the opportunity to tackle cervical cancer much more forcefully and across borders. The European Institute of Women’s Health is a collaborating partner in the Cancer Partnership and will focus its energy specifically on the prevention and screening of women’s cancers and how to reach out to socio-economic disadvantaged women.
For more information about the European Cancer Partnership:


2nd National Conference on Cervical Cancer Prevention

Organized by the Uzbekistan Ministry of Health together with the Women Wellness Centre and international institutions such as the UNFPA, this conference brought together more than 120 experts in oncology, obstetrics and gynaecology as well as specialists from provincial Uzbek health departments to make conclusions on introduction of cervical cancer screening in the country, discuss challenges and lessons learnt with regard to the process; and plan further large-scale interventions on reproductive system cancer prevention. Consequently, UNFPA supported a three-day workshop conducted by the experts of the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) for 50 gynaecologists and 15 cytologists on cervical cancer prevention issues, the experience of using alternative methods of screening in primary care, modern methods of treating precancerous lesions of the cervix, the role of vaccination against human papillomavirus, and other related topics. ?We can certainly say that the main outcome of this event is another decisive step made in preventing and fighting the disease in our country.? declared Dilmurod Yusupov, President of the Women Wellness Centre.


Free Pap Tests in Delhi

Indian Cancer Society, Delhi (ICS, Delhi) took on awareness and screening of cervical cancer as a Millennium Goal in 2000. The association realize that this is a slow process that cannot be handled by just one NGO. Since 1999, ICS, Delhi launched the ?Free Pap Test in Delhi? operation. Each year, the association writes to 300 gynaecologists and 50 hospitals in Delhi and its surrounding region, asking each one to remind women about the need for cervical screening and offering a free screening to the poorer in the association Cancer Detection Centre. ?We remind them that the screening addresses many other niggling problems. We do not interfere with their charges from patients; just say that anyone who cannot afford their rates can be screened freely at our Cancer Detection Centre, in Central Delhi.? Jyotsna Govil, Secretary of Indian Cancer Society, Delhi says. For this 11th edition, results have been very good, especially from hospitals treating the poorer sections of population. ?One day we hope Pap Test Delhi will become Pap Test India. Together, we will make this very preventable cancer history!? stated Jyotsna Govil.

!Save the Date!
WACC 2011 International Forum will be held on May 8-9 in Lisbon, Portugal

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