Rose walked into the doctor’s office looking as suave as ever but if you had looked closely, you would have seen a young woman trembling inwardly. “Good afternoon Mrs. Okoye”, the doctor smiled. She felt a bit calm because she knew Dr Rajput would not be smiling if he had terrible news for her.
Settling down on the well-furnished couch in the doctor’s office, she anxiously gripped her designer handbag and waited. “Mrs. Okoye, your results just came in today and the PAP smear result is positive. This confirms that you have Cervical Cancer. I am so sorry to tell you this. I believe we should begin treatment immediately to prevent the spread to other organs.”
Rose couldn’t hear what the grey-eyed Indian doctor was saying. All that kept ringing in her ears were the words ‘’Cervical cancer’’. She jumped up from the chair screaming loudly. “No! I cannot have cancer, I am too young! The result is false!” Tears rolled down her oblong face. As she kept on displaying these theatrics in front of the doctor, a still voice whispered in her mind, “You caused this.”
CERVICAL CANCER: An Overview
Cervical cancer is also known as carcinoma of the cervix. It develops in the cervix (the inferior end of the uterus/womb). The cervix is often referred as the ‘neck’ of the uterus. It is one of the world’s deadliest but easily preventable form of cancer. According to World Health Organization (WHO), it is the fourth most common cancer in women.
For instance, statistics shows that in the year 2018, about 570,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer worldwide and about 311,000 women died from the disease. In addition, WHO also tells us that every minute one woman is diagnosed with cervical cancer.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR CERVICAL CANCER?
- Increasing Age Of The Female Gender
- A Family History Of Cervical Cancer
- Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Infection: According to WHO, about 99% of cases are linked to Human Papilloma Virus
- HIV Infection
- Socio-Economic Status
- Immunocompromised Individuals
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF CERVICAL CANCER
The early stage of cervical cancer may be completely free of symptoms. Symptoms of the late stage may include.
- Post Menopausal Bleeding
- Painful Coitus
- Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
- Post Coital Bleeding – bleeding noticed just after sexual intercourse.
- Loss Of Appetite
- Swollen Legs
HOW TO PREVENT CERVICAL CANCER
- SCREENING: PAP smear screening is recommended for women between the age 20 -40 years and women not in high-risk category every three years. Women over 40 years and those in a high-risk category, a yearly test is recommended. Routine Pap test (This is a test that is aids in the detection of precancerous conditions) is recommended.
Please click on the link below to register for a free cervical screening site in Lagos State: http://bit.ly/freecervscreen
[Organized by the Lagos State Ministry of Health].
- Abstinence from premarital and extra marital affairs: One should abstain from any kind of sexual activity before and after marriage.
- Vaccination: This helps to reduce the risk of cervical cancer and the vaccines to take include:
- Vaccine Gardasil: approved for males and females aged 9-26 years.
- Vaccine Cervarix: approved for female aged 10-25 years.
- Adequate Nutrition: It is essential to take diet rich in Vitamin A, B12, C and E
- Trust Wholly in Christ:
Most importantly, the Holy Bible tells us in Isaiah 53:5b that “…with his (Christ’s) stripes we are healed.” It is important to claim the promises of God in our lives daily because God has promised us healing over all infirmities.
Whenever you feel a strange symptom in your body, don’t be afraid to go on your knees in prayer. AS GOD HEALED THE WOMAN WITH THE ISSUE OF BLOOD, HE WILL ALSO HEAL YOU AND SHIELD YOU FROM ALL INFIRMITIES. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS TO TRUST IN HIS HEALING POWER.