The misconception of cervical cancer putting only women at risk has been clarified as not entirely true as men have been identified as also being major carriers of cervical cancer which is unknown to most men as the awareness is limited to women.

This revelation was made known by a Principal Nursing officer of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Mrs. Amanda Adu-Amankwaa while addressing staff of the Ministry of Information and the Information Services Department during a Cervical Cancer Awareness Talk on the 6th February, 2020 at the Ministry of Information Conference Room.

She further explained, cervical cancer is mainly transmitted through sex. It is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which is found around the genital area of both men and women who have had sexual contact with an infected person. Cervical cancer is mostly found in women of ages 15 and above.

“This cancer can be life threatening if it goes undetected”, she added.

Some symptoms of the disease she said includes bleeding, bloody discharge, severe lower abdominal pain, loss of weight and hair, swollen abdomen and excruciating pain.

“The cancer damages the vagina as it spreads to the uterus, fallopian tube, and ovaries and also affects the bladder, intestines, lungs, stomach and later on affects the brain” she reiterated.

Mrs. Adu-Amankwaa emphasized that sex at an early age, multiple sexual partners, smoking, frequent exposure to sexually transmitted infections, uncircumcised males, and hereditary factors increases the risk of contracting cervical cancer.

She therefore encouraged all women to make it a habit to visit the hospital very often, especially when they see creamy discharges or experience unusual pain during sex.

Furthermore advised that women do away with buying vagina tightening creams and post pills as it puts them on a higher risk.

Inaddition, She advised women who are sexually active to get screened every three years since when detected early, can be treated as well tasked men to do period checks when they become sexually active because they also stand the chance of getting penile cancer as carriers of the virus.

The Principal Nursing officer touched on the types of screenings available for both males and females to detect if they had cervical cancer or not.

She noted, screening can be done by Visual Inspection (VIA) screening of the cervix which is done with Acetic Acid (vinegar) or Pap smear.

This screening is done for females between the ages of 25 and 45 years and involves squabbling the cervix with 3% to 5% acetic acid solution which can be ordinary table vinegar.

Another was the Cytobrush screening. With this, the brush is used to collect some cells from the cervix and put into a liquid base and sent to the lab to determine whether one is carrying or has the infection.

Infected women may opt for radiotherapy, surgery, chemotherapy or cryotherapy as treatment upon diagnosis and prescription of a medical doctor, she advised.

All women present had teal and white ribbons on to symbolise the Cervical Cancer Awareness Day. The men also wore the ribbon in solidarity with the women.

Source: www.thenewindependentonline.com/ Health Desk

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