Abrale - Brazilian Lymphoma and Leukemia Society

Eliminating cervical cancer in Brazil through a technological educational platform


Reduce the cervical cancer incidence and mortality in Brazil, benefiting the community and vulnerable population segments through a technological platform for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment

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Lead Organization

Abrale - Brazilian Lymphoma and Leukemia Society

São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil


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Project Summary

By 2030 cancer will be the main cause of death by diseases worldwide, and the WHO urged for cervical cancer to be addressed globally. Education plays a central role in this cancer, given that there are proven methods to prevent it, such as the HPV vaccine. Brazil has one of the highest incidence, 16,000+ cases/year, with 6,000 women needlessly dying each year, mostly impoverished women.ABRALE is raising funds to implement a special program based on its successful experience in blood cancers with “Onco-ensino” (Onco-learning) – a digital platform that has trained 15,000+ professionals. This program will expand and improve the platform, including new content about prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for cervical cancer. We also plan including new telemedicine features, to help healthcare professionals provide earlier diagnosis, guided assistance and better treatments. ABRALE will expand its network of community healthcare agents and support the development and impact of public policies.

Problem Statement

Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer in women and 70% of cases occur in areas with low HDI levels. When it comes to treatment, almost 9/10 deaths caused by cervical cancer occur in less developed regions. Brazil has reported 17,000 new cases in 2018, with 6,000+ deaths, most of them concentrated in the North and Northeast regions where cervical cancer occupies the first and second positions as the most common (~25 cases every 100 thousand people). Education plays a central role in reducing this epidemic, given there’s proven technology to intervene at all stages of the disease. The high incidence of cervical cancer in the North and Northeast regions reflects three main elements – and ABRALE targets all of them. First, misinformation regarding the safety of HPV vaccine has kept immunization rates low in Brazil (~50% women have taken the second dose of HPV vaccine in 2017, compared to +85% in developed countries). Second, sexist and discriminatory attitudes regarding the PAP test reduces exam popularity (~70% women in the North region have done PAP tests between 2010-2013, while the national target is above 85%). Finally, knowledge gaps in health professionals and community agents compromise early diagnosis and adoption of less invasive and curative treatments.ABRALE aims to change this reality by providing more information to critical agents such as nurses and physicians, patients, educators, and community leaders. This powerful change will result from a mix of face-to-face contact of community agents, communication materials, digital courses, and telemedicine resources.

Solution Overview

The well-stablished Onco-ensino platform that already reaches 15+ thousand people, will be leveraged, expanded and enhanced to include content focused on cervical cancer and telemedicine functionalities. We will also expand our team to fight cervical cancer through two main fronts: 1) Train and enable health professionals, mainly in the public sector, to encourage faster and more reliable diagnoses to patients;2) Educate and create awareness in vulnerable population regarding prevention and detection, encouraging HPV vaccination and PAP tests.We will track our progress through an ABRALE division “Oncology Observatory”. This team of data scientists tracks not only our project’s KPIs, but also health indicators collected by various public and private organizations, such as vaccine coverage, Cervical Cancer incidence and mortality rates. This enables us to evaluate treatment outcomes and our impact on Brazilian society and support governments in creating more effective policies. When treated earlier, cervical cancer has higher cure rates and lower treatment cost. The short and medium-term impact, therefore, will be in detecting and diagnosing cases at an earlier stage, thus saving lives and sparing health resources.In the long term, we expect higher HPV vaccination coverage with regional rates raising from ~50% to 85% - meaning the immunization of ~3.5 million people in the North and Northeast. Our solution will indirectly tackle other diseases that arise from HPV, such as throat, colorectal, and penis cancers. Further, the platform will also help in fighting other types of cancer by expanding the content and the coverage of community agents.

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Project Funders

  • IBM 2016
  • Telefônica Vivo 2016
  • Itaú Unibanco 2018

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