About 60% of women who visit the Tamale teaching hospital with cancer diagnosis is as a result of a cancer of the cervix and are usually at stage 3 of the infection making it difficult to manage.
This was disclosed to FiilaNews during an interview with Akosua Kwartemaa Boakye on the Daybreak Tamale morning show by Dr. Hawa Malechi, a specialist Gynecologist at the Tamale Teaching Hospital.
She noted that it is rare to have women come in with just stage 1 of the cancer and about 4 women come in with these conditions on a monthly basis.
Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix — the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. Various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing most cervical cancer.
According to Dr. Hawa, the disease may be as a result of a woman having multiple sexual partners or a woman’s sexual partner having multiple sexual partners.
Multiple births, smoking and any disease condition that lowers the effectiveness of one’s immune system makes it easier for women to contract this type of cancer.
On her part, Dr. Antoinette Dufie Sarfo, a house officer at TTH, noted that for the asymptomatic nature of the disease it is usually difficult for one to notice its contraction until after its advanced stages when the symptoms will begin to show.
Irregular Vaginal bleeding, bleeding after sex and post-menopausal bleeding are all part of the symptoms of cervical cancer which needs to be reported immediately to a health facility.
Elaborating much on the topic, Dr. Hawa Malechi noted that though this type of cancer is usually predominant in women above 40years, she said it is not restricted to this age bracket as she has seen a 28year old suffering from stage 3 cancer of the cervix.
On preventive measures, Dr. Dufie indicated that the WHO has outlined immunization and safe sex as the primary preventive method as well as screening and dilation for secondary as far as the cancer is concerned.
As part of the cervical cancer awareness month which is sponsored by YAZZ, Dr. Hawa indicated that the screening is currently taking place at the Tamale Teaching Hospital Antenatal clinic at no cost for all women in the region who walk in for the screening this week.
It has been revealed that unlike women who can be screened for cervical cancer, the men can’t be screened though both sexes are at risk of contracting the cancer.
Dr. Hawa therefore advised both men and women alike to practice safer sex noting that this kind of cancer harms both sexes.
For residents of Tamale she noted they can access cervical cancer screening at the Tamale Teaching Hospital, Marie Stopes, Kalpohin Hospital, Habanna Hospital and the SOS Village.