As interventions on reproductive cancers are considered more costly than those for contraception or maternal health, there is a greater struggle in establishing women’s rights to access preventive and curative services. Additionally, unequal socio-economic situations coupled with socio-cultural barriers and poor or inadequate health care infrastructures impede the prevention, treatment and care of reproductive cancers.
Although a number of countries are showing commitments towards screening and the prevention of cervical cancer, it needs to be emphasized that the scarcity of data and low level of priority towards breast cancer and ovarian cancer is worrying. There needs to be a more systematic and in-depth data collection on these two cancers in order to raise awareness and provide health care which includes screening, treatment and cure.
Early screening can go a long way in reducing the incidence and mortality from cervical and breast cancers and health systems in respective countries in the region have to be geared to put in place effective prevention strategies, early detection, which comprise of diagnosis, screening including cervical cancer screening, HPV testing, mammography screening, treatment and palliative care. Therefore, population-based data on cancer incidence and mortality become the starting point for any intervention, and countries need to start collecting this information.