January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

It is always a good time to talk and educate ourselves about human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers today, thanks to vaccination, screening and early treatment. Yet, it remains the third most common cancer among Canadians with a cervix aged 25-34 years old1. Approximately 1450 Canadians are diagnosed with cervical cancer and an estimated 380 of them will die from this disease2.

Unlike the majority of cancers, the main cause of cervical cancer is well known with almost all cases caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is very common3. Over 75% of Canadians will be infected by HPV at least once in their lifetime4. Most HPV infections generally show no signs or symptoms and can go away on their own, so people often don’t know they’ve ever had it5. However in some Canadians, persistent high-risk HPV infection can lead to cervical precancer or cancer, although this generally happens over many years6.

The elimination of cervical cancer will only come from a comprehensive, triple-intervention strategy of vaccination, advanced screening and diagnostics, and the early treatment of precancerous or cancerous lesions.

Unfortunately, the lack of awareness and access to advanced diagnostic solutions is a crippling issue in the fight against cervical cancer. However, a new era of innovative technologies is transforming cervical cancer screening strategies, paving the way for improved diagnostic and early intervention solutions and accelerating the move towards personalized healthcare.

We recognise the importance of advanced screenings and reliable diagnostic tests in cervical cancer prevention, especially knowing the critical role played by HPV – a preventable infection for which a vaccine exists – in the progression of the disease. Our scientists work tirelessly to bring new triage and diagnostic test options to patients across the world.

Our latest developments in the field of biomarker technology helps identify individuals most at risk of developing cervical cancer and single out those who may need access to early intervention and treatment options from those who may not. Relying on risk-based assessments of each individual helps avoid the potential harms of over-or under-treatment.

The elimination of cervical cancer can be achieved through the powerful integration of diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, data and the evolution of personalized healthcare. Having all areas of expertise under one roof, Roche is uniquely positioned to follow this holistic approach to support the WHO goal of putting all countries on the path to cervical cancer elimination by 20307.

At Roche, women's health is a priority, and that starts with cervical cancer.

What action can someone take to protect themselves from cervical cancer?

Learn more about cervical cancer, HPV, the differences in cervical cancer screening options and much more.


  1. Caird, H. et, al. The Path to Eliminating Cervical Cancer in Canada: Past, Present and Future Directions.Accessed 5 Jan 2023.

  2. Canadian Cancer Society. Cervical cancer statistics.Accessed 5 Jan 2023.

  3. Arbyn M, Weiderpass E, Bruni L, de Sanjosé S, Saraiya M, Ferlay J, et al. Estimates of incidence and mortality of cervical cancer in 2018: a worldwide analysis. Lancet Global Health (2020) 8:e191–203. doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(19)30482-6.

  4. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Human Papillomavirus (HPV).Accessed 5 Jan 2023.

  5. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Human Papillomavirus (HPV).Accessed 5 Jan 2023.

  6. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Human Papillomavirus (HPV).Accessed 5 Jan 2023.

  7. World Health Organization. Cervical Cancer Elimination Initiative.Accessed 13 Jan 2023.

Discover more

The new pap testCervical Cancer riskCervical cancer wellness guide

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