Cervical Cancer

Cervical Cancer is the second commonest cancer in Nigeria, after the breast cancer. Cervical cancer is sexually transmitted by the Human Papillous Virus (HPV). This turbulence in the human cervix is associated with risk factor such as smoking, and low diet in fruits and vegetable. The American Negro is reported to be twice at risk above his white counterpart. Turbulence is invisible except when a stained slide of the scrape of the cells of the cervix called pap smear, viewed under microscope to the trained eyes, and it could take one to 10 years before the first signs are noticed.

Pap smear examination may be reported as mild, moderate, or severe dysplasia. At any of these stages abnormal cells may have taken over the cervix. While severe dysplasia often progress to invasive cancer of the cervix, the mild one are likely to resolve without treatment. Nevertheless, the mild or the moderate dysplasia may just progress to a frank cervical cancer.

The first symptom of the cancer of the cervix includes post-coital bleeding which naturally disappears in time (without the disease disappearing), spontaneous vaginal bleeding and foul smelling discharge which follows within a year or two. Cervical cancer can be managed by surgery for early stage disease and radiotherapy for all stages. In some cases, chemotherapy is used.

Although cervical cancer is a non-issue in many developed countries, it remains common in countries like Zimbabwe with incidence rate of 67.2/100,000. Nigeria’s incidence rate is put at 25/100,000.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer