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Cervical cancer kills 500,000 women annually, Expert



A gynaecologist with the Nigeria Airforce Medical Centre, Benin, Dr Ruqayyah Mustapha, on Monday said over 500,000 women die annually of cervical cancer worldwide.

 Mustapha disclosed this during a one-day cervical cancer awareness campaign organised by Sisters of Jannah, a Muslim group for women to commemorate the cancer awareness month in Benin, Edo State.

 She also disclosed that about 100,000 new cases were detected annually in Nigeria.

The gynaecologist called on women groups to also carry out awareness on cervical cancer to ensure that women in the state embark on screening for early detection of the ailment.

In her lecture titled, ‘Escaping/Surviving Cervical Cancer,’ Mustapha noted that cervical cancer was the second most common cancer among women worldwide.

She said, “Cervical cancer occurs when abnormal cells on the cervix grow out of control. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina.

“Over 500,000 women worldwide die of cervical cancer annually and about 100,000 new cases are diagnosed annually in Nigeria.

“Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) has been the major culprit indicated as the cause of cervical cancer. Long-lasting sexually transmitted infection with certain types of HPV may also lead to cancer.”

Mustapha said those at risk of the infection were women above age 30, women with multiple sexual partners and women who have given birth to three or more children.  She added that having early sexual activity before 16 years was also a risk factor.
 
According to her, this year’s cancer awareness programme would focus on cervical cancer.  Punch

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