Dr Adinkra Kyeremeh, the Sunyani Municipal Director, Ghana Health Service has advised women to go for cervical cancer screening at any nearest health facility for early detection and treatment of any changes in the cervix.
He said all women were at risk and were likely to get the disease, but the best decision for its prevention was early and constant screening to avoid further complications that might lead to death.
Dr Kyeremeh who gave the advice in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani, noted that one could be vaccinated against the disease at the early ages of 12 and 13 before one would become sexually active.
“If not, regular screening starting from age 20 and above still remains the best preventive method of the disease’s occurrence”, he added.
Dr. Kyeremeh said more nurses had been trained and were available at the health facilities for screening services to ensure screening of women of the required age.
This, he explained was because symptoms of the disease such as vaginal discharge, loss of weight, post-menstrual bleeding, painful sexual intercourse were indications that the cancer had already been developed and the chances of a patient survival become less.
Dr Kyeremeh stressed the survival of a patient in such a time depended on the stage of the disease and explained sometimes the cancer might either be just at the cervix or might have been spreading to the other organs of the body.
He said the screening was free during campaigns whenever support had been received from some philanthropists and non-governmental organizations.
Dr Kyeremeh urged women to take advantage to go for the services whenever there was announcement anywhere for free screening to save themselves from other health complications related to the disease.
He said last year the Bono region recorded eight positive cases of the disease after screening, saying some patients were in very critical condition.
Dr. Kyeremeh stated surgery could sometimes be done as part of the treatment for the removal of the cervix to prevent the cancer from spreading to the lungs, liver, abdomen, and other parts of the body.
He however, stressed women from 20 years and above should not wait for the announcement of free screening before they visited any health centre because “the screening is basically free all the time”.
Dr. Kyeremeh however indicated that a small amount of money might be charged sometimes to keep a health facility where the services were being provided running because the exercise was not covered by the health insurance scheme.
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