Nigerian women and the fight againt Cervical Cancer

It is indeed bad news that cervical cancer now kills many Nigerian women on a daily basis. A new report by the cervical cancer free coalition (CCFC) entitled “crisis card” said that about 26 Nigerian women die of cervical cancer daily.

According to the report, half of all the women who die of cervical cancer live in just five countries – India, China, Brazil, Bangladesh and Nigeria. This new cervical cancer crisis card which was launched globally on Sunday 12 may, 2013 as part of activities marking this year’s international mother’s day put the annual total death from the five top ranked countries at 137,817 compared to an estimated 275,000 annual total deaths from 500,000 new cases recorded in the 50 countries surveyed.

From the report, 9,659 women die of cervical cancer in Nigeria every year making Nigeria the nation with the highest rate of cervical cancer deaths in Africa and number five (5) in the whole wide world.

Dr. Jennifer smith, executive director of the cervical cancer free coalition said, “Cervical cancer is a preventable cancer yet we are still seeing so many deaths around the world”. Dr Smith went on to say that the disease can dramatically be reduced through VACCINATION, SCREENING AND EDUCATION. But how can our women go for screening and vaccinate themselves when they don’t even know about the disease?

Cervical cancer is the growth of abnormal cells on the cervix (the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina). If detected early enough, cervical cancer can be treated. A Pap test is the most popular way of detecting cervical cancer in its early stages.

Symptoms of cervical cancer may include but are not limited to:
  • Abnormal Bleeding from the vagina, or a strange and sudden change in menstrual cycle.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Vaginal discharge that is tinged with blood.

According to Dr. Rosa, Professor of oncological gynecology at the university of Lagos teaching hospital (LUTH), “knowledge and awareness of cervical cancer, a preventable disease, is very low, while the toll of cervical cancer on Nigerian women is very high. Indeed, cervical cancer in Nigeria and sub Saharan as a whole most be given the same priority as HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and childhood immunizations. Government in this region must wake up to this call”.