Women with multiple sexual partners have been warned of an increased risk of developing cervical cancer as part of the fight against complacency on the deadly disease.
Cervical cancer is a cancer of the uterus (womb) which grows around the narrowing part of the lower uterus often referred to as the neck of the womb. Women within the age of 50 years are at a higher risk of developing cervical cancer.
Also, women who engaged in sexual intercourse with different men were also at risk of contacting Human Papillioma Virus, especially type 16 and 18 associated with cervical cancer.
Dr Uchenna Iroka, a medical practitioner, from the Department of Accident and Emergency Unit, Minna General Hospital, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Although most women are aware that cervical cancer exists, most probably don’t know what symptoms to look out for.
Early cervical cancer usually has no symptoms, but there are a number of sneaky signs of cervical cancer every woman should know about.
These symptoms according to Dr Iroka are; vaginal bleeding during sexual intercourse, foul smelling discharge, pains during sex and postmenopausal bleeding.
Other things which also increases the risk of cervical cancer include smoking, which weakens the immune system, long-term mental stress, giving birth at an early age, several pregnancies and contraceptive pills.
Though not all these symptoms always mean cancer, but if one experiences anything abnormal, it’s best advised to always go see a doctor to check.
People have therefore been advised to stick to one partner, as multiple partners exposes them to contacting deadly diseases.
Dr Iroka urged young ladies to go for pap-smear test from time to time to know if they are sexually active or not. Hear him;
“If the pap-smear test is negative, the person should be vaccinated and if the test is positive, it is an indication that the person is likely to develop cancer in 20 to 30 years time.
“At that point, the person can commence treatment to prevent it from developing. Most cervical cancer is squamous in 90 per cent and adenocarcinoma in about 5 per cent.
“Treating cancer depends on the stage it is discovered. Most people in developing countries unlike in the developed countries are ignorant, that is why the disease is discovered late.”
The medical practitioner said the treatment modalities for cancer, includes surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, although all three modalities can be combined.
Iroka further advised young ladies to get vaccinated whether they were sexually active or not. He also urged Nigerians, especially women, to go for regular cancer screening, stressing that regular screening helps to detect the disease at early stage and reduces number of death.
He called on religious and traditional leaders to encourage women in their domain to go for regular breast and cervical screening, adding that such facilities were available in government hospitals.
Cancer is best treated when it’s caught early on, and since many symptoms can be confused for other issues, it’s useful to be aware of what could potentially be a sign of something worse.