By Dayo Adesulu
Former Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Professor Olalekan Abudu has disclosed that cancer of the cervix kills 23 Nigerian women every day, adding that the disease is preventable.
The former provost of the College of Medicine, UNILAG made this disclosures at Idiaraba, Lagos, during the second annual lecture titled, “Cancer of the Cervix: A Preventable Neglected Tragedy,” delivered in memorial of Abimbola Aina Omololu-Mulele.
“While breast cancer is unpreventable, cervical cancer can be prevented,” he said.
According to him, cervical cancer may be prevalent amongst the low social class, adding that no social class is exempted from the disease.
He explained that contacting cervical cancer is more dependent on the sexual behaviour of the individual woman and their spouses.
He said: “Husband or consort who has more than three sexual partners is at high risk of transmitting HPV to his partner who we can assume is faithfully monogamous sexually.
“The man is the vector for HPV infection just like the mosquito is the vector for malaria.”
Stressing on the prevention strategies, Abudu urged that health education in junior secondary school should include sex education for both males and females.
He recommended that after sexual debut 3-5 yearly cervical screening using Pap smear and HPV DNA screening should be instituted.
He said: ” All sexually active females, negative for HPV DNA should be vaccinated.
“Barrier method such as condom for male and female should be used when having sexual pleasure – when not desiring to have a baby.
“Consensual monogamous sexual relationship should be the norm not one night of unprotected encounter.”
He posited that cervical screening programme and early detection of precancerous stage to be instituted if not national for any reason, it should be regional or state for all sexually active females irrespective of social class.