Early testing reduces risks, says doctor

The National, Friday July 15th, 2016

Cervical cancer can be prevented if women and girls go for early testing, Pacific International Hospital senior gynaecologist Dr Onne Rageau says.
He told The National that cervical cancer developed over time and mothers and young girls who have had sexual intercourse for the last two years should go for Pap smear screening. Early testing reduces the risk of getting cervical cancer.
He said the Pap smear test was done to check for cervical cancer, where cells are scraped from the opening of the cervix and examined under a microscope.
“It is a simple test and if nobody goes forward to get tested, signs might come later with complications that mean cancer has already developed.  If you are not aware of it by the time you’re having pains, abnormal bleeding or a big ulcer, it might be too late.”
He said if Pap smear test detected the presence of cancer cells or some abnormalities, early treatment would commence.
“For cervical cancer, the most important thing is to prevent it, and prevention is better than cure.
“Young girls and teenagers must know that the vaccine for cervix cancer is available and is given in three doses.”
He said a dose of the Gardasil vaccine cost about K900.
Pap smear tests are done in both public and private hospitals.