Cervical cancer vaccines were approved in 2006. They are available in the country and range from KSh 2,000 to 3,000

Cervical Cancer

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David Makumi, the chairman of Kenya Network of Cancer Organisation (KENCO), sat down with Samuel Njoroge of KBC’s Good Morning Kenya to discuss the very important issue of cervical cancer. Here are eleven things we learnt about cervical cancer from that interview.

By Kevin Kamunde

  1. Approximately 15 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every week and 97% of women do not understand what causes it.
  2. Close to 4,000 women are diagnosed with this type of cancer annually. Approximately 2,500 of those diagnosed die as a result of the disease.
  3. 15 million women aged 15-50 are at risk of getting the disease.
  4. Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the leading cause of cervical cancer but it is not necessarily transmitted through Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s). However, there is a small percentage of people who don’t have HPV but still get cervical cancer.
  5. Cellular changes in the cervical cells are detected between 8 to 10 years and they eventually become cancerous.
  6. It is a very treatable and preventable disease if detected early.
  7. In a survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Bank two years ago, it showed that this form of cancer isn’t talked about in the community. Less than a quarter of women have gone for cervical cancer screening.
  8. The recommended method of screening for cervical cancer is testing for HPV although it’s quite expensive.
  9. Cervical cancer vaccines were approved in 2006. They are available in the country and range between KSh 2,000 to 3,000 depending on where you are purchasing them.
  10. Even though public awareness about the disease is minimal in the country, cultural orientation plays a big role because people don’t speak about sexuality in public.
  11. Symptoms such as bleeding, pain after intercourse, an increase in vaginal discharge and lower abdominal pains can also be signs related to other infections which is why cervical screening is advised.
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This interview originally aired on Good Morning Kenya on the 17th October 2017. You can watch the full interview in the video below.

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