Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., is the Associate Director for Population Sciences and Cancer Disparity at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. For more information on the WHO Collaborating Centre and the cervical cancer services Sylvester offers, click here or visit the UHealth blog.
MEET RACHEL BURFIELD:
Rachel Burfield was diagnosed with cervical cancer at 31.
“I froze once he said he was pretty sure that it was cancer,” says Rachel.
Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., Sylvester’s Associate Director for Population Sciences and Cancer Disparity, says too many women are still dying from this preventable cancer.
“Worldwide, cervical cancer remains the number one cause of cancer mortality for women. And this is really a shame because cervical cancer is in fact preventable and we have an obligation and an opportunity, now heralded by the World Health Organization, to make real progress towards achieving that goal,” Dr. Kobetz says.
A new collaboration between Sylvester and the World Health Organization is aimed at eliminating cervical cancer by meeting three key targets by 2030.
“One, increasing vaccination uptake to 90%. Two, ensuring that all women have access to screening throughout their life course. And three, ensuring women with detected abnormalities could get access to timely and appropriate treatment,” says Dr. Kobetz.
Dr. Kobetz’s message is one of solidarity and sisterhood.
“Together, we can envision a world without cervical cancer and certainly without cervical cancer disparity,” Dr. Kobetz says.
Rachel’s cancer was caught early and surgically removed. She credits Sylvester for now being cancer-free.
“They really have a passion for what they’re doing and that meant the most to me,” Rachel says.
FOCUSING ON YOU
Focusing on You: Innovations in Modern Medicine is a series of healthcare-related stories airing regularly on WPLG Local 10. For more stories like this one, visit YouTube channels for UHealth, the University of Miami Health System.
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