Doctors specialising in reproductive health have advised women to prioritize regular medical check up to discover cancerous cells at the early stage.
Dr. Amina Isah, Clinical Fellow of Reproductive Health and Dr. Timi Asahu-Oladipo, Clinical Director of NISA Premier Hospital, Abuja were counselling members of Soroptimist International at an event organised to mark International Women’s Day, IWD.
IWD is celebrated on March 8 every year and the 2021 celebration has the theme: “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world’’. The day is marked to focus on the achievements and contributions of women in society.
Dr. Isah, a gynaecologist at NISA Premier Hospital, while giving a lecture on various types of cancers affecting women said being a woman is not an easy task. She listed avoidance of multiple sex partners, abstinence, vaccination, practicing safe sex and pap smear tests from age 15-49 years as preventive measures against cervical cancer.
“The human papilloma virus does not only cause cancer of the cervix, but it can also cause cancer of the throat and cancer of the male reproductive organ. It is especially important that we take our health seriously, get the male and female child vaccinated to protect their future and reduce the scourge of cervix cancer in sub-Saharan Africa and Nigeria at large.
“The World Health Organization has given the Federal Government an ultimatum, that by the year 2030 we should reduce the scourge of cervical cancer by about 90%. So there need for series of screening by males because they are the major carriers, but it comes with a token. What we want from the government is that they should make it part of the immunization program; then the people in the villages can be aware and get vaccinated at no cost,” said Dr. Isah.
While there is a vaccine that prevents cervical cancer, Dr. Isah noted that most ailments are found in the rural communities owing to lack of awareness. She pleaded with parents and guardians to help counsel their children, sisters, aunties and mothers to go for screening and help reduce the spread of cervical cancer.
She recommended that men and women should go for screening once in three years. “ It can be carried from the man to woman and also from the woman to man”, she disclosed and urged all women to take their male and female children for vaccination of the cancer virus and make sure women go for pap smear testing regularly.
On breast cancer, she advised that women should always go for breast ultrasound scan or breast mammogram noting that this type of cancer is hereditary in some cases.
She said ovarian cancer is the type of cancer that occurs after menopause and some of the recess factors include hypertension, diabetes and loss of appetite.
She gave more insight and insisted women should go for scanning at the hospital in other to be sure of their body status.
President of Soroptimist International, Gwarimpa, Mrs. Ottih Magdalene Uwadiale said the Non-Governmental Organisation for Women seeks to provide for less privileged women and girl child in the society with a well-structured international governance structure established more than 80 years ago.
Members of Soroptimist International, their friends and relations were availed testing for cancer at subsidized rates in a partnership between the organisation and NISA Premier Hospital.
Cancer, the second leading cause of death globally, is the uncontrolled growth of a group of cells in the body. It can occur at any age and if not detected at the right time and is not treated, it can increase the risk of death.