Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Killer of Women - Cervical Cancer

Every 2 hours, a woman dies from its deathly grip.

Being a woman and having 2 girls of my own, a statistic like this is downright scary. It can hit any woman anywhere around the world. And it will strike unless preventive measures are taken.


It is considered by the Department of Health as the second most common female cancer in the Philippines today, with an estimated 7,277 new cases reported every year. What about unreported or still undiagnosed cases? That number could easily escalate simply because women do not know how to protect themselves from this disease.

Cervical cancer develops when normal cells of the cervix turn cancerous, usually caused by a chronic and persistent cancer-causing Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection that leads to pre-malignant lesions that eventually progress to cancer. This type of cancer takes decades to happen (from 10 to 30 years) so it is actually easy to prevent, screen, detect and diagnose before it turns malignant. Regular pap smears and visual inspection of the cervix with Acetic Acid (VIA) helps to screen for cervical cancer.

Rather than wait to be diagnosed with the presence of HPV, prevention is really the better strategy for us and that can be achieved by getting an effective vaccine that targets the cause of cervical cancer which are HPV types 16 and 18.

For me and my daughters, getting protection through a cervical cancer vaccine is a MUST. If you have daughters of your own, consider getting protection as soon as possible. Prices have already dropped considerably and cervical cancer protection is now affordable.

Here are some more statistics for you to consider.

Cervical Cancer by the Numbers

• 2                  Cervical Cancer is the second biggest cause of female mortality globally
• 510, 000        World Health Organization’s (WHO) estimate of new cervical cancer cases annually worldwide
• 288, 000        yearly deaths around the world because of cervical cancer, according to WHO
• 80                percent of cervical cancer cases found in developing countries in the world
• 245, 000        estimated number of new cervical cancer cases found in Asia every year
• 7, 277           estimated new cervical cancer cases every year in the Philippines according to survey                  done in Rizal, Cebu, and Davao by Department of Health (DOH)
• 12                estimated number of deaths (daily) in the Philippines due to cervical cancer
• 35                the age to start getting a Pap smear for women who have not engaged in vaginal intercourse
• 200              number of Human Papilloma Viruses (HPV) acknowledged to exist
• 15                number of HPV types said to be high-risk (cancer-causing)
• 16 & 18         HPV types which cause 70% of cervical cancer cases
• 45                3rd most common cancer-causing HPV types which is prevalent among Filipinas

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