Cervical Cancer, PAP Smear: Letter to Nigerian Women
In memory of International day for women, ODoctor. NG is using this opportunity to inform our Nigerian women on why they should start doing PAP SMEAR.
This has become important because I have observed with dismay the rate of negligence in this area. Infact, so many Nigerian women do not know what PAP SMEAR is, not to talk about doing it.
What percentage of Nigerian women know about PAP SMEAR?
In a study carried out on ODOCTOR’S FACEBOOK PAGE, more than 50% of Nigerian women that responded above the age of 21 years, have either not heard about PAP SMEAR or not done it. That’s not a good sign, considering the importance.
What is PAP SMEAR?
PAP SMEAR is a a screening test done to check whether a woman has cervical cancer or is at risk of cervical cancer. It is done once in every 3 years. And every woman that is up to the age of 21 years or is sexually active, should as a matter of necessity have her PAP SMEAR done every 3 years.
So what is Cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is the cancer of the cervix. You already know where cervix is located in the body. It is the part between the vagina and the womb. The cervix is part of the womb actually, but because of so many peculiarities about the cervix, it is most times discussed on its own.
Cancer develops when cells of the body starts to grow uncontrollably. Every cancer starts from a particular cell or group of cells going bizarre, growing on their own, develop their own blood supply, and cannot be affected by the body’s immune system.
Have you ever imagined, you have a car, and all of a sudden, for reason you cannot explain, the tyre of your car starts growing large, and large. And you try deflating the tyre, no way, you try puncturing it with a nail, no way, nothing was able to stop the tyre to continue to grow. – That’s exactly how cancer behaves. It has a language of its own, it doesn’t respond again to the normal body regulations.
Just like a car on autopilot- Does not respond to ‘hold up’ or traffic light, it. Keeps moving. That’s cancer.
So when the cells of your cervix, enters this autopilot mechanism, and goes out of control, cervical cancer results
What is the cause of cervical Cancer?
There is no particular cause of cervical cancer. But the commonest risk factor is contacting a virus called Human papiloma virus(HPV). This virus has been implicated in most cases of cervical cancer. HPV is gotten through sexual inter course.
How common is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women in Nigeria, after breast cancer. So it is a very common disease, that is killing so many women daily. It is not even something you say, let me wait. Please value your life, let this post you are reading change your life for better today.
Is cervical cancer curable?
Once it comes to cancer, it boils down to how early you presented to the hospital, or even to the right hospital. Most Nigerians usually present late, when absolutely nothing can be done to stop the inevitable. Among all the whole cases of cervical cancer I have seen, none came early. All of them came when they were about dying. But that’s not a surprise anyway, it is a talk for another day.
How can I prevent cervical cancer?
This is the ultimate. That is exactly what I have been talking since. You can prevent cervical cancer by doing PAP SMEAR. There is also a vaccination called HPv vaccine that can prevent you catching the virus.
Let me shock you. Do you know that,a single PAP SMEAR you did, can guarantee you of not developing cervical cancer for the next 10 years?
The question I am yet to find the answer is this:
PAP SMEAR is done once in 3 years, It is not not costly, The equipments are readily available, the lab facilities are everywhere, and a single negative result can guarantee you of not coming down with cervical cancer for the next 10 years,……yet people are not doing it.
AWARENESS – Many are not aware, those that are aware do not understand, those that understand do not consider!
No wonder the bible lamented:
The ox knows its owner And the donkey its master’s crib; But Israel does not know, My people do not consider.” Isaiah 1:3
That is why you have to SHARE this post to your friend on social media. Use the links below.
I want to do PAP SMEAR, what do I do?
Now you are talking. It is as simple as dressing up now, take keke to any good Histopathology Laboratory, and ask for a Pathologist. Take note of that please, I said ask for a pathologist.
This is not your regular malaria/typhoid test that you enter any laboratory to do. It is only a doctor that should take samples for PAP SMEAR because it involves going into your vagina, so it is not something you do anyhow else you will get infection where you are trying to do test.
So what does the process entails?
After the doctor has collected the sample, the test will be run, and you will be informed when to come and collect your result.
Is PAP SMEAR test painful?
No, it is not painful. Even if you feel any small pain during the process, abeg, it worth it biko.lol…
Is PAP SMEAR Expensive?
No it is not. Some few Lab I know collect within the range of 2,500 -3,500. That’s just money for ‘cold stone’ *winks*. It is very far much more cheaper than your life beloved.
What if I test positive?
If you test positive, it is most likely in the early stage that can be cured. The doctor will direct you appropriately to the nearest centre where you can get treatment. That’s why we are doing this – to prevent it from happening.
If you are negative and want to be vaccinated, you will also be directed by the doctor on what where to go. Note: HPV vaccination is for those that test negative, not for those positive, and there is an age factor to it.
I believe I have spoken enough. Thank you for your audience.
Any question, drop it as a comment below
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Images – Medlineplus
Image 2 – MSDmanuals