IN an effort to help women diagnose cervical cancer at early stages, the Benjamin Mkapa Hospital (BMH) through its Maternity Clinic has embarked on a special programme for them to undertake a free cervical cancer screening.
Gynecologist at BMH, Dr Caroline Damian, said here over the weekend that the BMH came up with the idea after realising that cancer cases are on the increase in its institution, adding that they will have special services for them every Tuesdays and Thursdays for them at the hospital.
“Over 80 per cent of women coming to the hospitals for cervical cancer treatment, normally come at final stages of cancer, and pose a serious challenge to their cure,” said the BMH’s Gynecologist.
However, Dr Damian explained that the human papilloma virus infection (HPV) causes more than 90 per cent of cervical cancer cases, adding that about 70 per cent of disease occurs in the developing world.
“Free cervical cancer screening at BMH is to compliment the government’s efforts to curb the problem. We are all aware that the government is presently offering HPV vaccine to girls,” she pointed out.
However, Dr Damian urged the womenfolk in Dodoma and neighbouring regions to use the opportunity of free cervical cancer screening service offered by them, in order to diagnose if they suffer from it in early stages.
“I appeal to all women in the region and neighbouring regions to use this opportunity of free screening at the BMH, because cervical cancer patient may not experience any symptoms at early stages of the disease,” she observed.
Dr Damian added that women coming for cervical cancer screening at the BMH will also have an opportunity to undergo free breast cancer screening.
On her part, Oncologist at the BMH, Dr Caroline Mrema, pointed out treatment of the cervical cancer will consist of some combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy depending on the danger one has.
Making clarification on the radiation therapy, Dr Mrema, said it is untrue that therapy causes death as some people thought, adding that types of treatment for cervical cancer depend on a patient’s health condition, age and stage of the disease.