Cancel Cervical Cancer – In Conversation with Brazil, Colombia, and Uruguay Experts | BGI Insight



Despite being highly preventable, the Pan American Health Organization estimates cervical cancer kills 35,700 women annually in the Americas, and 80 percent of these cases are in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The recently released BGI Genomics 2023 Global State of Cervical Cancer Awareness Report reveals potential awareness gaps that may contribute to this disproportionate distribution of cervical cancer cases in these regions.

To offer greater insight into the steps needed to improve cervical cancer awareness in Latin America, our team interviewed Dr. Carolina Wiesner, Director of Colombia's National Cancer Institute, Dr. Osvaldo Artigalas, member of the Brazilian Society of Medical Genetics and Genomics and Dr. Deborah Laufer, Uruguayan gynecologist specialized in gynecological and pediatric endocrinology.

Cost-effective intervention to prevent cervical cancer

Dr. Carolina Wiesner notes, "It is necessary to implement new technologies for prevention and early detection of cervical cancer in a cost-effective manner to help eliminate this cancer." In recent years, HPV DNA self-sampling tests became more widely available, and the prices dropped significantly, making it possible for twelve LAC countries/territories to pilot the introduction of these technologies.


The benefits of detecting cervical cancer early

The Awareness Report indicates 68.6 percent (Uruguay) and 67.1 percent (Brazil) of vaccinated women had a screening test, lower than the global average of 82.1 percent. More needs to be done in these two countries as the existing vaccines do not protect against all high-risk HPV types and will have a limited impact on disease in unvaccinated women and those vaccinated at older ages. Dr. Osvaldo Artigalas says, "Early detection of cervical cancer brings many benefits: saving lives as survival rates are better and benefiting society with reduced treatment costs."


In Uruguay, 85.7% of respondents will choose the HPV DNA test over a pap smear upon learning about its higher accuracy. In response to this Awareness Report finding, Dr. Deborah Laufer highlights, "This response shows that if women receive clear and proper information about each of the tests and their scope, they are better placed to make more informed decisions."


About BGI Genomics and SENTIS HPV Tests

BGI Genomics, headquartered in Shenzhen, China, is the world's leading integrated solutions provider of precision medicine. In July 2017, as a subsidiary of BGI Group, BGI Genomics (300676.SZ) was officially listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

The CE-certified SENTIS™ HPV test combines self-sampling technology and genotyping assay to detect 14 most important, "high-risk" types of HPV, including HPV -16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66, 68 and 2 "low-risk" types of the virus, HPV -6, 11. HPV genotyping detection is based on Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology based on a large sample volume for each run, which decreases the testing cost for each individual. In 2021, the WHO recommended DNA testing as a first-choice screening method for cervical cancer prevention.


The 2023 Global State of Cervical Cancer Awareness Report is based on an online survey of 1,878 female respondents from Brazil (315), the Chinese mainland (310), Saudi Arabia (312), Serbia (307), Thailand (319), and Uruguay (315).

These respondents were based in their respective country or region when this survey was conducted in July 2023. Surveys were conducted in local languages. Respondents were aged between 21 to 45 years old. Momentive Global was commissioned to carry out this survey.