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However,  this also shows the inequities that remain in cancer care. Women in less economically developed countries, where costly vaccination and screening programmes are less common, are four times more likely to develop cervical cancer and it is the biggest cancer killer in these regions.

“Ensuring universal access to health care is a vital prerequisite for early detection and cancer treatment,” said Dr Fitzmaurice. “Improving access to advanced diagnostic technologies not commonly available in low-SDI countries is a critical step towards achieving health equity globally.”

While wealthier nations with longer life expectancy and national screening programmes top the rankings for new diagnoses, it is developing countries where there are the most cancer deaths.

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