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CERVICAL CANCER – AWARENESS, EARLY DETECTION & PREVENTION

Filed on September 13, 2020 | Last updated on September 14, 2020 at 07.11 am

Healthcare needs have progressed with time and so have the treatments. Cervical cancer is a common cancer in women and lot of information is already available across the globe on this disease. The good news is that a simple vaccine can prevent the cancer for lifetime. Spreading awareness on early detection and prevention of the disease, Zulekha Hospital is hosting their yearly free screening campaign - “Change to Change”.  More information on https://change.zulekhahospitals.com/

 

Aside, here are some FAQs answered by Specialist Gynecologists Dr. Kranti Jadhav - at Zulekha Hospital Sharjah and Dr. Nahla Rashad Abdelrahman at Zulekha Hospital Dubai.

1. What are the symptoms of cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer usually has no symptoms in the early stages. The most common symptom is abnormal vaginal bleeding which can occur after sexual contact, in between periods or bleeding after menopause. There could also be abnormal vaginal discharge or pelvic pain seen as other symptoms.

2. What are the main causes of cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer is a cancer that occurs in the cervix which is the lower part of the uterus. The main cause of cervical cancer is Human papilloma virus (various strains of it) which is mainly transmitted by sexual intercourse.

3. What are some risks associated with cervical cancer?

Infection with human pappiloma virus (hpv) is the most important risk factor for cervical cancer. Other risk factors include smoking, having multiple partners, giving birth multiple times, using birth control pills for a long time, more than 5 years.

4. If a parent has had cervical cancer, can children be affected to? What are the chances?

If a parent had cervical cancer it is not necessary that the children are also affected as it is not hereditary or genetically transferred.

5. At what age must one be vaccinated for cervical cancer? How does the vaccine help younger boys and girls in prevention of this disease?

Ideally both girls and boys should have the vaccine for cervical cancer before the exposure to sexual contact. Usually given in the teenage years starting from 13 years. The vaccine protects against 4 types of HPV: 6, 11, 16 and 18. Out of them 16 and 18 is the cause of most cervical cancers.

6. What are the types and doses of vaccines to be taken? Where are they available in UAE?

Vaccines are available in UAE for cervical cancer. The name is Gardasil, it is given in two doses. If the first dose is taken today the second dose will be given 6 months after the first dose.
If you are above 15 years then you need 3 doses. In this case, the second dose is given at least 1 month after first dose and the third dose is given at least 3 months after the second dose.

7. At what age is screening recommended in adults? What type of screening must be done by adults to detect cervical cancer?

Screening is recommended between 25 and 65 years of age.
Screening test done to detect cervical cancer is the “pap test”. The gynecologist takes a small sample of cells from the cervix and sends it to the laboratory where the cells are checked for any abnormal changes.

8. How long does the screening take and why is it important? How often must the screening be done?

A pap test takes only 5 to 10 minutes in the clinic. It is important to screen as signs and symptoms before the development of cancer are not noticeable. Abnormal areas or cells that are not yet cancerous can be found with pap test and treated before cancer actually develops. Screening can be done every 3 years.

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