Cervical cancer kills 142 women every month – IMaH medical officer

Medical officials from IMaH

Dr. Anita Owusu-Afriyie, the Medical Officer, at the Oncology Unit of the International Maritime Hospital (IMaH), has disclosed that 233 women are diagnosed every month with cervical cancer, out of which 142 die monthly.

She said data indicates that 58 women are diagnosed weekly and as many as 35 are also dying weekly and further, an estimated 2,797 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer yearly in Ghana, out of which 1,699 died from the disease.

She said cervical cancer was the second-leading cause of cancer in women in Ghana after breast cancer.

Dr. Owusu-Afriyie gave the statistics at the health promotion platform dubbed: “Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility!” initiative by the Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office to propagate health information to influence personal health choices by improving health literacy.

She advised all women to regularly undertake cervical cancer screening “as early diagnosis would help save a life… men should encourage their partners, wives, sisters, mothers, and friends to go for screening.”

She explained that prolonged infection with certain types of Human papillomavirus (HPV) was the main cause of cervical cancer.

HPV is a common virus that is passed from one person to another during sex and though at least half of sexually active people would have HPV at some point in their lives, a few women would get cervical cancer.

Dr. Owusu-Afriyie also advised women who intended to go for cervical cancer screening not to do it during menstruation, as the menstrual blood could affect the analysis.

She encouraged women who encounter any bleeding after sex or after menstrual periods, which was abnormal, to seek medical attention.

However, when one is undergoing treatment for cervical cancer, one should abstain from sexual intercourse or avoid unprotected sex because the treatment is done to kill the cancer cells from the cervix.

Dr. Owusu-Afriyie urged all females aged 21 and above to go for screening.

Francis Ameyibor, the GNA Tema Regional Manager, explained that the Office sought to leverage on the agency’s communication expertise and health professional skills to educate the public to understand the importance of the health of the entire citizenry.

He said the weekly health dialogue platform would also be used as an effective communication channel for health professionals to educate the public on healthy practices and other general health challenges.

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