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97% of women in urban towns clueless about causes of cervical cancer

 

Cervical cancer is also one of the most easily treatable form of cancer should it be detected early, none the less Kenyans continue to die from it.

According to a study by the Lancet Group of Laboratories carried out in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa 97 per cent of women in these three counties don’t know what causes cervical cancer.

The study effectively confirmed that majority of ‘well informed’ women in Kenya’s biggest towns are clueless about the causal link between the human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer.

“Not knowing HPV causes cervical cancer is like not knowing HIV causes Aids,” Lancet Laboratories group managing editor Ahmed Kalebi said.

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The study was conducted last year and sample views of a total of 327 women, most of them married.

It is ironical since you would expect these women residing in Kenya’s most urban areas surrounded by all forms of media to be well informed about the disease.

Just as HIV testing is done to identify infections before they progress to the stage AIDs, HPV testing is also crucial in determining and treating  pre-cancerous cells before it progresses to full blown cancer.

“The fact less than five per cent of women know the link between HPV and cervical cancer should be a wake-up call to all stakeholders. Without awareness, it is unlikely women would seek HPV vaccination, for themselves and their daughters. It’s also unlikely they will appreciate the value of HPV testing,” Kalebi told a local daily.

Data from the ministry of Health ministry shows that 2,454 women are diagnosed annually with cervical cancer, while 1,676 people die from it.

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