Experts for preventive screening as 6,582 women die of cervical cancer annually

DHAKA, April 27, 2018 (BSS) – About 6,582 women die of cervical cancer annually in the country while around 11,956 cases get diagnosed annually.

This information was unveiled in a study conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2017.

Cervical cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the cervix, the lower end of the uterus that connects with the upper vagina.

Professor Dr Rokeya Khan said the occurrence has two peaks, one at about 35 years and another between 50 and 55 years and the cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers that occur among women of around 35 years of age.

Cervical cancer is the second most common female cancer in women aged 15-44 years in Bangladesh, according to the 2017 Human Papillomavirus and Related Diseases Report, she added.

Habibullah Talukder Raskin, associate professor of National Cancer Research Institute and Hospital, said the majority of cervical cancer cases occur in mid-age rather than old-age and it is one of the most common cancers in women under 35.

“Preventative cervical screening programmes can avoid cervical cancer deaths and provide a means of early detection. When the disease is detected early, it is highly treatable and is often associated with long survival and good quality of life outcomes,” he added.

He said now the patients, who are suffering from cervical cancer, would get treatment at an affordable price at city hospitals, including National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Hospital.

Dr Raskin said awareness about cervical cancer is negligible, particularly in low socio-economic groups, who also have the highest exposure to risks. Many don’t know about early detection, symptoms, preventive measures or even what cervical cancer is.

Preventive cervical screening programmes are necessary for early detection, which can prevent many cancer-related deaths, he said, adding screening is the best way to avert cervical cancer as it can detect abnormalities, including precancerous lesions and early cervical cancer.