Health Ministry calls for cervical cancer screening

By Rudolf R. Gaiseb

THE health ministry has advised all women aged 20 to 49 to visit health institutions and be screened for cervical cancer in early January.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has named January 2024 Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, partnering with stakeholders to increase awareness about cervical cancer and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.

According to the Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) organisation, cervical cancer is caused by HPV. This common sexually transmitted infection can damage the skin, genital area, and throat.

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HPV 16 and HPV 18 are the two highest-risk varieties, accounting for 70 per cent of cervical malignancies globally.

Persistent infection with high-risk HPV can cause abnormal cells to grow, eventually leading to cancer.

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As a result, the ministry strongly urges women to undergo screening since early detection of the HPV virus allows health workers to identify viral cells and take steps to remove them, preventing them from turning into cervical cancer.

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