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embrace cervical cancer screening
Jena, The Standard (Zimbabwe)
September 01, 2013
At least 5% of the estimated 880 women screened for cervical cancer
in Mashonaland West province between April and July this year were
found positive, a senior medical officer said last week.
who administers the cancer screening programme at Chinhoyi Hospital,
said HIV infection and indulging into sexual intercourse at an early
age were some of the factors that increased chances of cervical
of the cases were treated at the hospital [Chinhoyi] while a few
were referred to specialists,” said Kanonge.
partners and smoking in women can also increase the risk, he said.
Kanonge is administering
the Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid and Cervicography (VIAC)
prohramme with three nurses in Mashonaland West province under the
Zimbabwe Cervical Cancer Prevention Programme.
VIAC is a faster
and more efficient method of testing for cervical cancer which involves
taking pictures of the cervix. Diagnosis is instant and treatment
is also prescribed immediately.
is a disease that occurs at the mouth of the womb, and is caused
by a virus called Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which is mainly sexually
accounts for 32% of all cancers among women.
three million women, mainly in Zimbabwe’s rural areas, are
expected to be screened and treated in the next three years.
the programme had been embraced by women from all walks of life,
which raised hope of a reduction of deaths caused by cervical cancer.
educated and uneducated embraced the programme. Women are generally
health and death conscious regardless of their level of education,”
Those who are
HIV-positive are recommended to be screened at least once a year,
while those who tested negative should be screened after every two
Women who spoke
to Standardcommunity last week said they voluntarily got screened
because the programme was done free of charge.
centres and doctors charge between US$300 and US$500 for cervical
from Chi-konohono high-density suburb in Chinhoyi said she had decided
to get screened because not all men were faithful.
of the unfaithfulness of men, I got screened to make sure that I
know my status. Most man are unfaithful, including my husband, otherwise
I will realise that I have cervical cancer when it has spread throughout
the body,” said Marume.
that worldwide, about 500 000 women develop the disease annually
and about 75% of this population is said to be from developing countries,
while 300 000 die from the disease annually.
This is mainly
because the countries lack resources to implement routine screening
and treating, health experts said.
detected early, cervical cancer can be easily treated.
is carried out in conjunction with the United Nations Population
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