A medical expert has advised women to always go for a regular Pap Smear (Papanicolaou) test to avoid cervical cancer.
Dr. Lydia Ogbalor who is a gynaecologist disclosed this during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Benin city.
She described Cervical Cancer as a malignant tumour of the cervix, the lowermost part of the uterus that can be prevented by Pap smear screening and HPV vaccine.
She said “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 of 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.”
Ogbalor further stated that women should endeavour 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 also gave some factors that could help prevent cervical cancer as delaying first sexual intercourse until the late teens or older age, limiting the number of sex partners, practising safe sex by using condoms and dental dams, avoiding sexual intercourse with people who have had many partners and avoiding sexual intercourse with people who are infected with genital warts or show other symptoms.
According to her, 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.
NAN reports that the World Health Organization, WHO, 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.