Ministry of Health marks World Cervical Cancer month, partners Pathfinder to eradicate scourge

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Coco-Bassey Esu|25 January 2017 This month January, is recognized as the Cervical Health Awareness month. Cervical Cancer is the second most prevalent cancer in women worldwide and the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths. Pap smears in developed countries have resulted in increased detection of pre-invasive lesions and decreased cancer deaths. Eighty percent of all cases of cervical cancer are found in developing countries, where early detection methods are often not available. HPV Vaccine may be helpful in reducing the incidence of HPV and cervical cancer. Annual pelvic examination with a pap smear is a painless and relatively inexpensive method of early detection. PREVENTIVE MEASURES FOR CANCER OF THE CERVIX.
Preventive measures includes – Regular pelvic examinations and pap tests for all women, especially older women past child bearing age.
– Avoiding HPV Infection.
-Education about reproductive health and safer sex.
-Smoking cessation.
-HPV Immunization. RISK FACTORS FOR CERVICAL CANCER.
*Sexual Activity :
Multiple sex partners, early age at first coitus exposes the young cervix to potential viruses from a partner.
*Sex with uncircumcised males.
*Sexual contact with males whose partners have had cervical cancer.
*Early childbearing.
*Exposure to human papilloma virus.
*HIV infection and other causes of immunodeficiency.
*Smoking and exposure to second hand smoke.
*Family history of cervical cancer.
*Nutritional deficiencies.
*Chronic cervical infection.
*Overweight status. CLINICAL MANIFESTATIONS –
Early cervical cancer rarely produces symptoms. If symptoms are present, they may go unnoticed as a thin watery vaginal discharge often noticed after intercourse or douching.
-When symptoms such as discharge , irregular bleeding or pain after Sexual intercourse occur, the disease may be advanced. Advanced disease should not occur if all women have access to gynecological care.
РIn advanced cervical cancer, the discharge gradually increases and becomes watery and dark. The Cross River State Government through the Cross River State Ministry of Health has partnered with Pathfinder Interernational to Provide equipment for free cervical cancer screening and treatment at General Hospital Calabar and General  Hospital, Ogoja. It is imperative that all women avail themselves of this golden opportunity. Coco-Bassey Esu
Writes from Calabar