More women die of cervical cancer due to lack of knowledge

Dr Beyuo made this known during a cervical cancer awareness campaign organised by Black Secret Makeup for its customers in Accra. It was also part of the organisation’s corporate social responsibility of giving back to its customers, who are mostly women.

Cancer of the cervix, also known as cervical cancer, is the commonest female cancers in developing countries including Ghana.

Worldwide, about 500,000 women develop the disease annually and about 75 per cent of this population is said to be from developing countries, while 300,000 die from the disease annually.

Additionally, Dr Beyuo said, most of the women who had the disease were above the age of 30, while others who were diagnosed at the later stages of the disease had their wombs removed because of the extent of damage.

‘Why wait to get totally infected when you can get screened now and avoid the last minute pain?’ he asked.

Dr Beyuo said even though the cancer was transmitted through a virus known as the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) transmitted by a male partner through sexual intercourse, it does not affect males, and added, ‘It is very rare for them to get it and when they do, it is known as the penal cancer.’

Additionally, he said, there were over 100 different types of HPVs out of which 15 caused cervical cancer, adding that other species of the virus also caused genital warts.

He also said women who were most at risk of contracting the disease were sexually active women and married women whose husbands were promiscuous or developed carcinoma of the penis.

‘They believe that taking birth control pills prevents them from getting infected with any other disease, but the fact is that, if a partner has the virus on his scrotum and even has sex with a condom on, the condom does not protect the scrotum hence the virus will be on your thighs and easily find its way into the vaginal wall,’ he explained.

Also, the socio-economic status of women, he said, was a cause of cervical cancer since women in deprived areas had significantly higher rates of cervical cancer, compared to women who live in other areas.

‘The most likely reason is a difference in the proportion of women who have regular screening; not everyone has the money and time to visit the hospital for screening,’ he said.

He, therefore, urged women to visit the hospital for screening and get vaccinated against the disease, saying, ‘early diagnosis means early cure.’

The Managing Director of Black Secret Makeup, Mr Bernard Kingsley Annoh, in his remarks, said the company was ready to support women to fight cervical cancer in the country.

‘We are ready to join in the campaign to fight cervical cancer as well as other cancers that affect women,’ he assured.

By Zainab Issah / Daily Graphic / Ghana

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