Raising awareness on cervical cancer is on the Qatar Cancer Society’s (QCS) agenda throughout the month of January. It has initiated a campaign called ‘Be Well’, which urges women to take a Pap smear test and lays emphasis on the importance of early screening.
The QCS is conducting workshops and lectures to make locals and expats in Qatar aware of cervical cancer symptoms, what causes it, how it can be treated and preventive measures.
After breast cancer, cervical cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer and also one of the most successfully cured, if detected early. It is caused when the cells in one’s cervix start to grow in an abnormal manner. If detected early, cervical cancer can be completely prevented if Pap smear tests are conducted regularly.
Named after Georgios Papanikolaou, the doctor who determined it as one of the best methods to detect cervical cancer, a Pap smear test, is a simple screening procedure that detects any cancerous of precancerous cells in the cervix. Screening is recommended for all women between the ages of 21 and 65 and should be done every three years. The optimal time to undergo the test is 10-14 days from the first day of menstruation.
According to QCS officials, birth control pills, being under 17 at the time of the first pregnancy, birthing three or more children, smoking, recurring cervical infections are the main causes of cervical cancer, along with infrequent Pap smear tests.
The Primary Health Care Corporation (PHC) in Qatar offers screening for cervical cancer, so if you are a woman between 21-56 and married with children, do not waste any more time. Head over to your nearest PHC or private hospital and have a Pap smear test done.
Source: Gulf Times