Uganda: 60 Percent of Cancers Are Infection-Related, Uci Officials Warn

Nurse treating a young patient at the Uganda Cancer Institute (file photo).

Doctors at Uganda Cancer Institute on Tuesday revealed that 60 percent of cancers are attributable to infectious pathogens.

They also warned that cancers of cervix and other types caused by infectious agents present unique opportunities for prevention and treatment.

Speaking at the cancer awareness dialogue at UCI, the head of comprehensive community cancer program, Dr Noleb Mugisha said Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV Vaccine) prevents cancer of the cervix yet shunned by the public due to lack of sensitization.

"Once a girl child is vaccinated, the vaccine can protect 70 percent of those who were likely to suffer from this type of cancer" Dr.Mugisha said.

Unfortunately, he said, "the program of vaccinating girls of the age of 10 years and above was launched about 10 years ago but the community have fully failed to embrace it."

Dr Mugisha also revealed that for every 100 women and girls who suffer from cancer in Uganda, 80 of the cases are cervical cancer.

Dr Mugisha also explained that "the reasons the vaccine up -take is low in Uganda is because many families are not aware that the vaccine exists; also the vaccination channel is not clear."

Other doctors observed that Human Papillomavirus Vaccine has remained low despite the government's efforts to save girls between the age of 10 years and above from contracting cancer of the cervix.

The Vaccine is meant to protect girls and women against cancer of the cervix.

The doctors explained the risk factors of cervical cancer is sexual contact, especially through unprotected sex with many partners yet 60 per cent of the cancers in Uganda are infection related.

Dr Mugisha said cervical cancer is by far the most common HPV-related disease with nearly all cases of cervical cancer attributable to HPV infection.

Dr Mugisha also pointed out that worldwide, cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in women, representing 7.5 per cent of all female cancer deaths.

Pointing out cervical cancer as one of the leading causes cancers and causes of death among women world over, UCI officials asked the government encourage parents not to miss out on having their children especially girls immunized.

Nearly half a million people surfer from cancer of the cervix and 300 000 women of die from cancer of the cervix every year. A senior official in the ministry of health also reiterated that, for every 100 women that suffer from cancer in Uganda, 80 of those suffer from cancer of the cervix.

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