Did you know that cervical cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths among women in the UAE?
Any topic regarding a woman’s ‘private area’ is often considered taboo, as such symptoms can go unnoticed.
Worldwide over half a million women were diagnosed with cervical cancer, with 250,000 dying from it. However, detected early it can be treated which is why we need to speak up when concerned and get checked.
Dr Pamela Munster, a renowned cancer expert from the University of California in San Francisco and the Zulekha Hospital cervical cancer campaign ambassador reveals everything you need to know.
Ten facts women should know about cervical cancer:
- Cervical cancer untreated is a deadly disease
- Second common cause of cancer death in women in the UAE
- Every women is at risk
- Almost all cervical cancers are linked to the human papilloma virus
- Vaccination against human papilloma virus is available and affordable
- Vaccination prevents cervical cancer
- Vaccination should be given to both boys and girls starting at age nine
- Cervical cancer is still curable if detected at an early stage
- There is an easy test for early detection of cervical cancer called PAP smear
- Early detection and early treatment has virtually no side effects and risks
- Persistent pelvic pain unrelated to other conditions, menstruation, or physical exertion can be a symptom of cervical cancer
- Continuous vaginal discharge, which may be pale, watery, pink, brown, bloody, or foul-smelling
- Pain during sexual intercourse (some women with cervical cancer may experience pain during vaginal intercourse)
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding is the most commonly experienced cervical cancer symptom. Women should be aware of post-coital bleeding (bleeding after sex), bleeding after douching, heavy periods, heavy spotting between periods, or an additional period during the monthly cycle. Any heavy, sudden onset of abnormal vaginal bleeding should be reported to your physician immediately. However, just bleeding doesn’t mean that there is a risk of developing cervical cancer
Don’t be nervous. If you have a concern, speak up and get checked.