Cervical cancer ranks as the 6th most frequent cancer among women in Europe but the second most common among women between 15 and 44 years of age. It is estimated that each year about 60,000 women from Europe are diagnosed with cervical cancer and about 25,000 women die from the disease. Incidence and mortality are particularly high in Central and Eastern European countries, where the average age-standardized incidence rate is 19 per 100,000 women per year and the mortality rate 8 per 100,000 women per year. The variation in cervical cancer incidence can largely be ascribed to differences in cancer screening programmes, which vary with respect to interval length, target age groups, quality of screening, level of organization, and coverage. In countries with a well-organized screening programme and high screening participation, cervical cancer incidence rates have shown a substantial decrease in the last decades of the 20th century. Consequently, a disproportionally large number of cancer cases are observed in poorly screened and unscreened women. In contrast, in countries that rely on opportunistic screening and usually have a low screening coverage, cervical cancer incidences have remained high or have even increased.
Figure: Age-standardized cervical cancer incidence and mortality per 100.000 female population (Europe)
Steliarova-Foucher E et al.: European Cancer Observatory: Cancer Incidence, Mortality, Prevalence and Survival in Europe. Version 1.0 (September 2012) European Network of Cancer Registries, International Agency for Research on Cancer. Available from http://eco.iarc.fr, accessed on 26-May-2014.