Cervical Cancer Prevention is the first MD Anderson Project ECHO clinic. Current partners in this teleECHO clinic are primary care providers in a four county region of the Texas Mexico border (Hidalgo, Willacy, Cameron and Starr Counties), two clinics in Guatemala and one clinic in Brazil.
There are more than 530,000 new cases of cervical cancer and 275,000 related deaths annually worldwide. More than 85% occur in low- and middle-income countries, where cervical cancer is the 1st or 2nd leading cause of cancer death among women. It is now known that virtually all cases of cervical cancer are caused by persistent infection with high-risk types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Preventive vaccines are commercially available and are recommended for girls and boys between the ages of 11 and 12 before the onset of sexual activity yet, only 30% of children in the US have completed the three vaccine series Thus, secondary prevention via cervical cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment will remain necessary for the foreseeable future.
In the United States, cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates have decreased by approximately 70% over the last 40 years due to implementation of screening programs based on Papanicolaou (Pap) and more recently human papillomavirus (HPV) testing. However, medically underserved areas in the United States and globally have been unable to achieve this same success in reducing the burden of cervical cancer due to a lack of effective, high-coverage screening programs, limited public education, and a shortage of locally available trained personnel to perform the diagnostic procedures and treatments recommended for patients with abnormal screening tests.
In addition, many women with positive screening tests do not receive the recommended diagnostic and treatment procedures, as they are unable to travel to central healthcare facilities for the multiple necessary follow-up visits due to the long distances and high costs associated with travel.
Data from the Texas Cancer Registry shows that women residing in the four counties in the Lower Rio Grande Valley along the Texas-Mexico border (Hidalgo, Cameron, Starr and Willacy) have a higher incidence of cervical cancer and cervical cancer mortality compared with non-border counties. Ninety percent of this population is Hispanic, 35% are living below the federal poverty line, and the majority of people are without health insurance. There are currently no public hospitals serving the region and there are 40-50% fewer physicians and nurse practitioners per 100,000 people compared with the Texas average. As a result, there are limited screening, diagnostic and treatment services available for cervical cancer prevention in this population.
Continuing Medical Education & Continuing Nursing Education Credits
To obtain CME credit for attendance at the Cervical Cancer Prevention ECHO clinics, please review the CME documents and complete the survey (links below) by 4 p.m. on the Friday after the ECHO clinic. You can print your certificate after filling this survey.
CNEs for nurses: If you are a nurse attending our clinics for the first time, please contact Jessica Lara at email@example.com