Qatar Cancer Society (QCS) has launched a campaign ‘Be Well..,’ which will continue throughout the month in order to raise awareness of cervical cancer to encourage women to check out the Pap smear. The campaign also aims to emphasise the need for early screening.
QCS is holding awareness lectures and workshops involving various sectors in the country to raise people's awareness of the symptoms of the disease, the factors responsible for it, as well as methods of prevention and cure of the disease. According to Rahaf wasafi, Health Education, the Cervical Cancer is abnormal growth of the cervical cells. The cervix (the lower part of uterus) is the second most common cancer in women worldwide and can affect any woman mainly between 20’s and 50’s; Stressing that HPV vaccine provides protection against the two major HPV virus types that cause 70% of all cervical cancers and Regular Pap tests can prevent around 90% of cervical cancers, cervical cancer is curable when found and treated early.
The major risk factors of Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection include: smoking, recurrent cervical infections, family history of cervical cancer, having given birth to three or more children, using birth control pills for a long time and lack of screening. The signs and symptoms of cervical cancer are Abnormal vaginal bleeding, Abnormal vaginal discharge, Pelvic pain, Pain during intercourse, she added, which can be prevented through Pap test, HPV test, HPV vaccine starting from age of 15 years; Stop smoking, Eat healthy, Be active.
The Pap test is a simple test can be done by your doctor; the best time to do the test is 10-14 days of the first day of the period. The examination procedure after 3 years of marriage and 21 years of age and older: first Pap test, after first Pap test until the age of 65 years: every 3 years, after the age of 65: stop if the last 5 Pap tests are normal, she added. She noted that cervical cancer often does not cause symptoms until it is advanced, so it is important to start the early detection tests regularly even when you feel healthy, and in Qatar: you can do the Pap test in Primary Health Care Center (Women’s Health Clinic).