Cervical Cancer Screening: The Basics

What Is Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women and the most common cause of death from a gynaecologic cancer. The cervix is the neck of the womb that connects to the vagina. Cervical cancer may be caused by certain strains of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). HPV causes abnormalities in the cells of the cervix which may eventually turn malignant and cause death.

Who Is At Risk?
ALL WOMEN! However the risk is higher in:

  • Women who start having sex before the age of 18.
  • Women who have many sex partners.
  • Women who may have had a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the past.

How Can I Reduce My Chance Of Getting Cervical Cancer?
By having regular cervical cancer screening tests, which includes:

  • Pap Smear test.
  • Liquid Based Cytology (LBC) – It is a new and more advanced test than the pap smear.
  • HPV typing.

What Is A Screening Test?
A screening test separates apparently healthy persons who probably have a disease from those who probably do not.

Do I Need A Screen?
Yes. Stastistics show that 2.4 out 100,000 women die of Cervical Cancer in the UK (where they have a good screening program) while in Nigeria, it is 2.3 out of 100,000.

What Is Cervical Cancer Screening?
It is a test used to screen for abnormal cells in the cervix.

What Are The Benefits Of Cervical Screening?
The death rate from cervical cancer in the developed world has declined by 75% since the routine cervical screening has been introduced.

How Often Do I Need To Do A Cervical Screening?
Approximately every 2 years (depending on findings). If the woman is HPV free, then screening can be done every 3-5 years. The HPV vaccine may also be given on doctors advice.

What Do I Do If I Have An Abnormal Result?
You will need to see your doctor for treatment.

HPV vaccination is now available at most GP clinics. Pap smear and LBCs are available at all Pathcare locations nationwide. For more information go to www.pathcarenigeria.com

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