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DoH offers free cervical cancer screening

Posted on: May 12, 2009

DoH offers free cervical cancer screening
By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 19:07:00 05/11/2009

Filed Under: Health, Diseases

MANILA, Philippines–The Department of Health (DoH) will conduct free cervical cancer screening this month for women aged 15-45 years, officials said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III urged Filipinas to avail of the free screening because the “best way to detect cervical cancer is through a regular pap smear to determine pre-cancer lesions.”

In 2005, cervical cancer was the second most fatal cancer for females and the fifth most fatal for both sexes, data from the Philippine Cancer Facts and Estimates showed.

Half of women afflicted by cervical cancer are between 35 to 55 years old, Duque said.

Around 6,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, of which 4,349 die from the disease, health assistant secretary for special concerns Elmer Punzalan said.

Every day, 12 women die due to cervical cancer and five out of 10 women with the disease die within five years, he said, quoting research data.

The free cervical cancer screening will be offered on May 22 in the following hospitals: Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center, Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, East Avenue Medical Center, Tondo Medical Center, Quirino Memorial Medical Center, Amang Rodriguez Medical Center, Rizal Medical Center, Las Piñas General Hospital & Satellite Trauma Center, Valenzuela General Hospital, Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and San Lorenzo Ruiz Memorial Hospital.

Free screening is also available in the Region I (Ilocos Region) Medical Center, the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu and the Davao Medical Center, said Punzalan.

Those who wish to avail of the free screening should register from May 12 to 15 in the said hospitals, he said.

Those who will be found positive in the screening will be referred for treatment, he said.

Cervical cancer develops from human papilloma viral infection. Those who have multiple sexual partners, those who smoke, those who have been pregnant several times, and those who have a family history of cancer are at risk.

Symptoms include pain during intercourse, abnormal vaginal bleeding such as bleeding after intercourse and menopause, bleeding and spotting between long and heavy menstrual periods, unusual discharge from the vagina which may contain blood and occur between menstrual periods or after menopause.

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