Many people do not realize that persistent bleeding, particularly during or right after sexual activity, can be an early symptom of cervical cancer, according to Prof. Isaac Adewole, a former minister of health.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday, Adewole, Co-Founder of the African Cancer Coalition, stated that cervical cancer may be prevented and treated if discovered and treated early.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that cervical cancer is still the second most frequent malignancy in women worldwide and among Nigerian women.
In Nigeria, there have been 12,000 incidents reported, with the majority of victims being women between the ages of 15 and 44. Each year, 7,900 of these victims die.
The issue in Nigeria, like the issue in Africa and many underdeveloped nations, according to Adewole, is that many individuals are mostly unaware of the situation with cervical cancer.
“As a result, for a variety of reasons, people frequently present to hospitals in an advanced stage.
“One, they are not aware of the early-stage signs, which include contact bleeding, particularly during bleeding or immediately following sexual activity.
“The majority of women who have such situations typically avoid their partners because they think the bleeding was brought on by the man.
“They likely believed it was caused by trauma and/or some kind of harm. And oddly, even though the bleeding stops when they do that, the sickness still persists.
Therefore, by the time the disease manifests itself again in terms of symptoms, it will already be well along.
Adewole, a professor at Northwestern University and the University of Ibadan, said: “So, you have these women switching between different caregivers and healing houses.
By the time patients arrive at the final location—perhaps a teaching hospital or a private clinic run by a specialist—the sickness would already be severe and incurable.
According to the former minister of health, many medical professionals missed some of the early symptoms and stages of cervical cancer, and roughly 80% of instances of cervical cancer that were presented were in advanced stages.
He stated that the following signs of early-stage cervical cancer may be present in women of reproductive age: “Irregular blood spots or light bleeding between periods.
Increased vaginal discharge, which can occasionally smell bad, postmenopausal spotting or bleeding, bleeding after sexual activity
According to the WHO, two kinds of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) (16 and 18) were to blame for over 50% of high grade cervical pre-cancers.
Most persons were infected with HPV soon after starting to engage in sexual activity because it is primarily spread through sexual contact.