Cervical cancer develops in women’s cervix (this is the entrance to the uterus from the vagina). According to the World Health Organization, almost all cervical cancer cases (99%) are linked to infection with high/risk human papillomaviruses (HPV). It is an extremely common virus transmitted through sexual contact. Cervical cancer in women is ranked fourth.
Cancer is a result of uncontrolled division and the growth of abnormal cells. Some cells in our body have a set lifespan and when they die, the body generates new cells to replace them. Sometimes they may not die and continue dividing which results in an excessive buildup cell that eventually forms a lump or tumor.
According to data on HPV, Uganda has a population of 12.3 million women age 15 years and older who are at risk of developing cervical cancer. The current estimates indicate that every year 6959 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 4607 die from the disease. (Human Papillomavirus and Related Cancers Fact Sheet 2021).
The highest cervical cancer incidence (54.8 per 100,000) is in Uganda. Yet it is entirely preventable through vaccination and screening, yet it remains one of the gravest threats to women’s lives according to the World Health Organization. The increase in Uganda is a result of limited screening access and infrastructure.
If detected early and managed effectively it is the most successfully treatable form of cancer. The treatment for cervical cancer includes surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or have a combination of all those. The decision on the kind of treatment depends on several factors such as the stage of cancer as well as age and overall state of health. The early-stage when cancer remains within the cervix has a success rate. For example, the use of surgery and radiation therapy may reduce the risk of recurrence. Further cancer spreads from its original area the lower the success rate tends to be. For example Radiation therapy and chemotherapy where chemicals are used and the use of beams of high-energy X-rays or radiation to destroy cancer cells.
Every woman should be strict on getting the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to reduce the frequency of cervical cancer.
Practicing safe sex by using condoms as protection against HPV infection. Having fewer sexual partners will reduce the higher risk of transmitting the HPV virus. This also calls for delaying the first sexual intercourse of a young woman. The longer she delays it, the lower her risk.
The women who smoke have a high risk of developing cervical cancer than people who do not smoke? So one should stop smoking.
Love Uganda Foundation advises all women to undergo cervical cancer screening which makes it easy to find and treat early-stage cervical cancer possible. National Cancer Institute says regular screening reduces the risk of developing or dying from cervical cancer by 80%. The collected cervical cancer screening program using HPV testing within the community-based primary health care services can increase access to screening and reduce cervical cancer rates in Uganda. The efforts are to reduce the number of women who die because of cervical.