Dr Achara Peter, a consultant gynaecologist, Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Keffi, has advised the three tiers of government to intensify awareness campaign for women on the dangers of cervical cancer.
Peter told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Keffi that adequate awareness must be carried out for women to be more aware of the virus as the most common cancerous disease in women.
“If there is a programme of awareness every year about cervical cancer, I believe it will go a long way to reduce the infection rate in Nigeria.
“I am urging the government to come to the aid of patients because some of the treatments are very expensive to take.
“The rate of death from cervical cancer is high in Nigeria because of late prevention; therefore, vaccine should be made available for them to take,” Peter said.
According to him, cervical cancer is the occurrence of abnormal cell which begins to grow out of control, caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
“Cervical cancer is the commonest disease that affects woman more, followed by breast cancer.
“Worldwide, breast cancer is the highest; but in Nigeria, cervical cancer takes the lead.
“The more multiple partners you have, the more you at the risk of having it, even your partner might be having it. So, we should be more aware of the virus.
“People that have given birth many times have double risks than those people who have one or nothing at all.
“Smoking is one of the causes that can lead to having this virus; one will not know in the early stage until such person goes for check up.’’
Achara, therefore, advised people to do the check up once in a year, as the virus could be treated at early stage.
“At late stages, it can lead to vaginal bleeding during sex or after sex and other signs like smelly vaginal, vaginal discharge and bone pain.
“Women can also be pregnant with the virus in early stage, but depending on the wishes of the woman.
“Like if the pregnancy is more than 20 weeks, they might wait till the pregnancy is mature for her to deliver, to be able to treat the woman; the virus can not affect the baby.
“Supposing the virus is in a late stage and the baby is two months, it is advisable that such woman go ahead with the treatment in order not to put herself in danger; and that of the baby,” the expert said.
The Head of Historical Pathology, FMC Keffi, Dr Garuba Yakubu, advised government to introduce screening programme to reduce the rate of cancer.
Yakubu urged the government to provide more vaccines to the hospital to be able to give to the women and men.