UNL professor working to get funding to end cervical cancer

LINCOLN, Neb. In the last 30 years cervical cancer death rates in the U.S. have fallen by more than 50 percent but around the globe that statistic doesn’t hold true as 750 women still die every day from the disease.

A professor right here in Lincoln is working with the American Cancer Society to try to change that.

Dr. Peter Angeletti’s research right now is focused on HPV and cervical cancer in sub-Saharan Africa.

He was just in Washington D.C. Tuesday to speak with members of the Nebraska delegation about adding more funds to help end cervical cancer.

"The American Cancer Society is basically starting a global campaign to eradicate cervical cancer,” said Dr. Angeletti. “The idea is to empower those countries to basically have better treatment and prevention through the vaccine to deal with cervical cancer."

90 percent of cervical cancer deaths world-wide take place in low and middle income countries. If approved the funding would cut the costs of screening and vaccines for women in the most affected countries.

"They can reduce the cost of the vaccine down to 4.50 cents per dose," said Dr. Angeletti.

By comparison since vaccination and screenings become more readily available in the United States HPV and cervical cancer numbers have been on the decline.

"In the U.S. we’re seeing about a 30 to 40 percent drop in prevelation because of vaccination," said Dr. Angeletti.

Right now the funding is only half of a percent of the Global Cancer Fund; the campaign is hoping to bump it up to a whole percent.

“It’s gonna increase the ability for these different countries to screen for cervical cancer and then roll out the vaccination campaigns,” said Dr. Angeletti.