We all know January is a month for awareness of cervical cancer in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
It is a perfect opportunity for WHO and partners such as Exquisite Magazine to raise awareness about cervical cancer and HPV vaccination.
This year, we are focusing on ending cervical cancer within a few generations as the theme for Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.
So what is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix that begins on the surface of your cervix. It happens when the cells on your cervix begin to change to precancerous cells.
Some signs and symptoms of stage 1 cervical cancer can include:
– Watery or bloody vaginal discharge that may be heavy and can have a foul odor.
– Vaginal bleeding after intercourse, between menstrual periods, or after menopause.
– Menstrual periods may be heavier and last longer than normal.
Unlike the rumor about cervical cancer on how deadly it is, when diagnosed, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable forms of cancer, as long as it is detected early and managed effectively.
Cancers diagnosed in late stages can also be controlled with appropriate treatment and palliative care. With a comprehensive approach to prevent, screen, and treat, we can end cervical cancer as a public health problem within a few generations.
On this Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, the messages are clear.
Get informed. Find out the facts about cervical cancer and the human papillomavirus (HPV) that causes it. Help educate other women in your life too.
Get screened. Cervical cancer screening typically starts at age 30 and is repeated periodically.
Get vaccinated. The HPV vaccine is given in 2 doses that should begin when a girl is between 9 and 14 years old.
So join us on the EMAC walk for cervical cancer prevention, where we spread the word out, give free tests and let every Nigerian know we can have a cancer-free generation!