2 Mar 2016

Funding for cervical cancer aims to reduce high Pacific rates

4:22 pm on 2 March 2016

The University of Hawaii's Cancer Center has received a US$6.6 million dollar grant for cervical cancer research in the Pacific.

The federal grant supports an 11-year partnership between the cancer center and the University of Guam.

A professor at the University of Hawaii's Cancer Centre, Dr Neal Palafox said the grant is to help reduce disparities between different populations, and cervical cancer was chosen as the Pacific has unusually high rates.

Dr Neal Palafox.

Dr Neal Palafox. Photo: University of Hawaii

Dr Palafox said no woman in the 21st century should die from cervical cancer.

"Cervical cancer takes a long time to manifest as cancer, it takes sometimes 15 years. If it's caught early on it's very simple to treat, but if it's caught late it is very destructive and like many other cancers that are caught late are hard to treat."

He said the funding will also be used for increased cervical cancer screening in Hawaii and Guam, and to provide services in Guam to help betel nut chewers quit.