6 February 2013

Zambia: 'Seek Cervical Cancer Screening Early'

THE Livingstone General Hospital is concerned that most women only seek medical attention for cervical cancer when the disease is in its late stage, thereby leading to death, head of Gynaecology and Obstetrics Isaiah Hansingo has said.

He has since urged women to seek early cervical cancer screening services to detect the deadly but preventable disease.

Dr Hansingo said in an interview yesterday that research indicated that delayed detection was the major cause of death.

He said he was worried that most women hesitated to seek medical attention and preferred to seek remedy when their health had deteriorated.

He said the hospital would intensify sensitisation on the need for women to seek early detection of the disease, especially in rural areas.

Dr Hansingo said he was concerned, especially that about 50 per cent of his patients' cancers were cervical-related.

"The prevalence rate is quite high because about 20 to 50 per cent of cases I receive are cervical cancer-related and the problem is that most of our patients come when the disease has already advanced," he said.

Dr Hansingo said the hospital, which did not provide screening services, had since acquired screening equipment from the mobile hospital unit and it would soon be screening women.

He advised women to be wary of some of the risk factors such as infection with human papilloma virus, sexual intercourse from an early age, many pregnancies, and multiple sexual partners.

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer of the female reproductive system which accounts for six per cent of all cancers in women and is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV).

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