Cervical Cancer: Expert advises regular Pap smear test for women for early detection


Lydia Ogbalor, a gynecologist in Calvary Hospital, Warri in Delta has advised women to go for Pap smear (Papanicolaou) test to avoid cervical cancer.

Ogbalor who disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Benin, defined Cervical Cancer as “a malignant tumour of the cervix, the lowermost part of the uterus”.

“It’s malignant tumour of the lower-most part of the uterus (womb) that can be prevented by Pap smear screening and a HPV vaccine.

“Cervical cancer can often be prevented by having regular screenings to find any precancers and treat them, as well as receiving the HPV vaccine.

“Cervical cancer tends to occur during midlife. It is most frequently diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 44. It rarely affects women under age 20, and more than 15 percent of diagnoses are made in women older than 65.

“Mothers should give their girl children HPV vaccines from the age 9. Majority of people with cervical cancer today, were not aware of the HPV vaccine.

“Vaccinate 9 to 13-year-old girls with two doses of HPV vaccine to prevent infection with the Human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus responsible for most cases of cervical cancer,’’ she said.

Ogbalor advised women to talk with a healthcare provider about the appropriate schedule for vaccination because it may vary based on many factors, including age and vaccine availability.

She said some factors that could help prevent cervical cancer included delaying first sexual intercourse until the late teens or older age, limiting the number of sex partners, practicing safe sex by using condoms and dental dams.

Others are avoiding sexual intercourse with people who have had many partners and also avoiding sexual intercourse with people who are infected with genital warts or show other symptoms.

Ogbalor said there might be no symptoms, but in a few cases, there may be irregular bleeding or pain, pain in the pelvis, pain during sexual intercourse.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the World Health Organization recommends that all women receive at least one HPV test to screen for cervical cancer in their lifetime. Ideally, women 25 to 65 years old should receive an HPV test once every five years.

Women 65 years and older or who had a hysterectomy may stop screening if their HPV test results have been mostly negative over the previous 15 years.

Sometimes, women who are 65 and older and who have tested positive for HPV may continue screening until they are 70.


– May 19, 2020 @ 12:25 GMT /

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