Spurring Action Against Cervical Cancer

Prajakta Adsul, PhD, from UNM Cancer Center attended the White House Cervical Cancer Forum focused on education, prevention, early detection and treatment
Screening of cervical cancer (Representational Image: Wikimedia Commons)
Screening of cervical cancer (Representational Image: Wikimedia Commons)

During the last days of January, which is Cervical Cancer Awareness month, Prajakta Adsul, MBBS, PhD, MPH, headed for Washington, D.C. Adsul had been invited to participate in the Inaugural White House Cervical Cancer Forum hosted by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, through the Biden Moonshoot Initiative.

Adsul is a global leader in cervical cancer prevention and implementation research. She and her team conducted the largest study of cervical screening among LGBTQIA+ individuals in the United States, and they published their research results last year in Frontiers in Oncology. The team continues to evaluate the study data with several publications planned.

The Forum at the White House began with a public session in which survivors and advocates for cervical cancer shared their experiences.

Thus grounded in priorities, the forum attendees heard remarks from Kimryn Rathmell, Director of the National Cancer Institute, and Danielle Carnival, PhD, Deputy Assistant to the President for the Cancer Moonshot.

Cervical cancer (Wikimedia Commons)
Cervical cancer (Wikimedia Commons)

Carnival told the attendees, “We are here today united by a commons mission … to get us on a path to virtually eliminate this disease which, today, impacts more than 600,000 people around the globe each year.”

The Forum ended with several sessions aimed at generating new ideas, actions and collaborations to combat cervical cancer worldwide.

In New Mexico, 100 women are expected to receive a diagnosis of cervical cancer in 2024, according to American Cancer Society estimates. The vast majority of cervical cancers — 91% — are caused by Human Papillomaviruses (HPVs). Three vaccines have been approved in the US for use against HPV.

Prajakta Adsul, MBBS, PhD, MPH

Prajakta Adsul, MBBS, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the UNM Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Preventive Medicine and is a full member of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences research group at the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center. A primary care physician by training, Dr. Adsul received her doctorate in Public Health and more recently completed a Cancer Prevention Fellowship with the Implementation Science team at the National Cancer Institute.


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