Early cervical cancer detection saves lives

20 Jan, 2022 - 18:01 0 Views
Early cervical cancer detection saves lives

The Sunday News

Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter

ZIMBABWE joins the rest of the world in commemorating World Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, time set aside worldwide to raise awareness on cervical cancer, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and the importance of early detection.

It is estimated that 604 000 women were affected by cervical cancer in 2020 alone and an estimated 342 000 women died from the disease worldwide.

In Zimbabwe, it is estimated that 3046 women get diagnosed with cervical cancer yearly while 1976 die annually.

Cervical Cancer is caused by persistent infection with HPV, a family of viruses transmitted sexually.

Zimbabwe rolled out HPV vaccines for girls up to 15 years in a bid to prevent them from being affected by the virus.

The World Health Organisation states that to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health problem, all countries must reach and maintain an incidence rate of fewer than four new cases of cervical cancer per 100 000 women per year. Achieving that goal rests on three key pillars and their corresponding targets:

Vaccination: 90 percent of girls fully vaccinated with the HPV vaccine by the age of 15 years, screening: 70 percent of women screened using a high-performance test by the age of 35 years, and again by the age of 45 years and treatment: 90 percent of women with pre cancer treated and 90 percent of women with invasive cancer managed.

Each country should meet the 90–70–90 targets by 2030 to get on the path towards eliminating cervical cancer by the end of this century.

Ms Inviolata Dube a survivor from Bulawayo encouraged young women to get screened in time to prevent spreading of the disease.

“This type of cancer can be treated if women present early to health facilities around them. They should be worried because this cancer is affecting more and younger women and hence it is important to get screened and treated early,” she encouraged.



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