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What is Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer is a malignant disease in the neck of the womb located at the top of the vagina

The cervix is the lower part of the uterus (womb). The upper part, or body, of the uterus, is where a fetus grows. The cervix connects the body of the uterus to the vagina (birth canal).


Cancer of the cervix (also known as cervical cancer) begins in the lining of the cervix. Cervical cancers do not form suddenly. Normal cervical cells gradually develop pre-cancerous changes that turn into cancer

Cervical cancer is the second commonest cancer in women world wide, second only to breast. It accounts for 500,000 cases every year and approximately 80% of these occur in the developing world. 300,000 women die of cervical cancer per annum, more than die of complications of childbirth.

Cervical cancer in Africa

St Kizito's clinic in Nigeria

Kizito Clinic in Nigeria

Team from UCLH with team from St Kizito's clinic

Team from UCLH with team from St Kizito's clinic

St Kizito's clinic waiting room

 St Kizito's clinic waiting room

Women waiting for screening at St Kizito's Clinic

Women waiting for screening at St Kizito's Clinic in Nigeria


Data obtained from the IARC  (International Agency for research on Cancer) -GLOBOCAN 2002 database, shows that African countries  not only have a higher rate of Cervical Cancer Incidence but also a higher mortality rate.

Further data, highlighting the cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates in Africa, is displayed below, ps click to enlarge.

Africa Age-specific cervical Cancer Incidence vs Developed countries. Ps click graph to enlarge.

Africa Age-specific cervical Cancer Incidence vs Developed countries

Africa Cervical Cancer Incidence Mortality vs Developed countries.Ps click graph to enlarge.

Africa Cervical Cancer Incidence Mortality vs Developed countries