The Volta River Authority (VRA) Hospital at Aboadze in the Shama District of the Western Region has set up a Cervical Cancer Screen Unit at the hospital’s new building to offer free Cervical Cancer education and screening to institutions, groups, churches or mosques and the general public.
Mrs Cynthia Acromond, lead person of the team told the iGOGHANA that the team was available to provide further details on risk factors, preventive strategies and any other relevant information about the disease to patrons.
She explained that Cervical Cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix – the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina and the most common gynaecological (female) cancer as well as the second most common cancer in women (breast cancer is the most common).
She disclosed that the month of January is acknowledged worldwide as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month with this year’s theme as, “Get Screened! Get Vaccinated!”
She announced that in the year 2020, an estimated 604,000 women were diagnosed with Cervical Cancer globally with about 342,000 deaths from the disease, the majority (over 90%) of which occur in low to middle-income countries including Ghana.
According to her, more than 3,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in Ghana, out of which over 2,000 women die annually while the World Health Organization (WHO) has also predicted that 5,000 new cases of cervical cancer and 3,361 cervical cancer deaths will occur annually in Ghana by the year 2025.
This, she said was regrettable because cervical cancer, unlike many other cancers can easily be prevented and treated if detected early.
Mrs Acromond indicated that Cervical Cancer is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which is sexually transmitted.
She added that Cervical Cancer is most frequently diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 44 with the average age at diagnosis being 50 though rarely develops in women younger than twenty (20) years.
“Many older women do not realize that the risk of developing cervical cancer is still present as they age. More than 20% of cases of cervical cancer are found in women over 65. However, this cancer rarely occurs in women who have been getting regular tests to screen for Cervical Cancer before they were 65”, she indicated.