Ethiopia: Early Pre-Cancer Treatment for the Sake of Life!

Photo: Wal fadjri
(file photo).

Recently, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs Gender Mainstreaming and Beneficiary Director Fetiya Delgeba told The Ethiopian Herald that hearing such pains of women in cervical cancer touches everyone. It is serious and sensitive issue, she adds.

"I saw the pain of cervical cancer. My best friend's mother was affected with the disease. Unfortunately, being late to be screened her mother was taken to one private health center. But, the physicians were not able to control the disease due to its development to the third step of cancerous cells which is its severe stage. Thus, they could not refer her to overseas for further treatment. Finally, the physicians raked with only one option that is providing her with age elongation radiation treatment. Within a short period of time the woman's situation was changed and her pain exacerbates and fasten her downcast in life."

"Finally, the woman was dead. I had visited the woman yesterday and dead as today. I never forget that situation from my mind and do not have words to explain it", she said.

According to her, the family did not expect her death within that short period of time. The woman's death scared every family members and relatives.

At the beginning, the woman hides her illness and hesitates to announce her pain to her children. Thus, the disease fastens its move.

"After that inerasable occurrence I point out issues related with the worst impact of cervical cancer to my family, friends, relatives as well as colleagues and everyone I met on my ways advises women to screened for cervical cancer", she emphasized.

Dr. Ezkiel Petros is a Gynecologist Specialist at the Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE). Basically, it is a clear fact that having pre-cancer and other diseases screening and treatment tests is advisable to maintain maternal health, he said.

In Ethiopia, numerous cervical cancer patients access cancer screening and treatment services at Tikur Anbessa Hospital while most of the others prefer to visit different holly water destinations countrywide, according to him.

Currently, several cancer fighting societies are emerging in Ethiopia. They are working to mollify the pain and adversity of patients.

Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE) is one of the non-governmental organizations engaged in the cancer screening, prevention and controlling as well as medical treatment mobilization activities throughout the country.

According to him, it is inevitable that any woman above 25 and having sexual intercourse will expose to cervical cancer.

For him, having treatment and knowing oneself health condition gives a satisfaction to enjoy every aspects of life.

While someone knows everything about his/her health status he/she is free to talk about his/her situation without any doubt and activates to set great visions, he said.

"To tell the truth cervical cancer is the worst disease for me. Because it is complicate to screening and treatment. First, it has no any easily identifiable symptoms. Second, it can be identified after distributed to the whole body parts. Third, its treatment is not that much satisfactory. Lastly, while you saw any person exposed to this disease you would be terrified by its high misery."

Cancer treatment is not only a misery to the patient but also to families, friends and relatives.

In addition to these, several factors are hindering Ethiopian women from accessing pre-cancer screening and treatment.

Cultural influence, upbringing situation, shyness, fear of the disease as well as lack of awareness (information) about early warning signs of cervical cancer and where to go for screening and other related services makes women to shrink from cancer screening, he said.

The Doctor advises women to be courage and make the screening on time.

"Having pre-cancer screening is successful to show the presence and exposure to cancer above 90 percent. Thus, while cancer is identified during the screening it would be possible to start the treatment at early stage of cancer."

Being negligent to pre-cancer screening would be considered as failure to manage own life and hesitate to be healthy and productive, he recommended.

After physicians prove any symptoms of cancer is found the distribution of the cancerous cells throughout the body would have four stages of development inside the body and its treatment system is done upon the four stages.

While, cancerous cells expansion within is at its first and second stages it is possible to detect it through operation. The third and fourth stags need treatment through radiation and chemotherapy. The first and second stages cervical cancer is up to 80-90% preventable since found at its early stage and not distributed to other parts of the body. But, still people should go ahead to take all the necessary treatment services, he emphasized.

But, at the third and fourth stages the cervical cancer is 50-60% preventable, patient's safety and continuous medical follow up is mandatory for a recovery from the disease in these stages, he recommended.

Cervical cancer is different from other types of cancer diseases in various ways. It is easily identifiable, might wait for longer period of time before changed into cancer and expanded to other parts of the body, he underlined.

Working on cervical cancer is much cost effective and is easily curable during early stages. Currently, cervical cancer treatment is also becoming manageable through vaccination, he noted.

Accordingly, smoking cigarette, drinking alcohol, practicing unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and environmental risk factors such as radiation as well as exposure to some industrial chemicals like insecticides are among the leading attributable factors for growing death due to cancer.

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