To find out their status, women of reproductive age have been advised by oncologist Dr Adediran Ademola to undergo annual cervical cancer screenings.
Ademole—who works in the oncology department of the University of Osun Teaching Hospital—made the call, In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Osogbo.
Speaking about the causes, management, and treatment of cancer, the doctor stated that early detection can help save lives.
He continued by saying that while there are many variables that can contribute to a cancer's origin, cervical cancer is a concern that affects all women who are of reproductive age.
He said, “cervical cancer is one of the health challenges faced by women globally. It is the cancer of the cervix (the cervix is a part of the female reproductive system).
“Cervical cancer is the second leading cancer in the world and the fourth leading cancer in West Africa.
“It is one of the challenges faced in this part of the world because the majority of the patients present late.
“Though it is not the cervical cancer that occurs at the initial stage, if it is detected at the early stages and presented earlier, patients will be well managed and the survival rate will be very high.”
The oncologist clarified that having several sexual partners and engaging in high-risk sexual behaviour are some of the factors linked to cervical cancer.
In addition, he mentioned that, similar to other types of cancer, cervical cancer may run in families and be brought on by environmental factors like global warming.
According to him, the symptoms of cervical cancer vary with age and are difficult to identify in women of reproductive age unless they are screened.
“Every woman of productive age is supposed to be screened at least once a year.
“If a post-menopausal woman suddenly sees her menses again, she is supposed to go for cervical cancer screening; also, a woman that has delivered four babies by herself (grand multiparous woman) is also at risk of cervical cancer.”
He stated that surviving cancer is largely dependent on the timing of presentation and that there are numerous cancer treatments available, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and others.