fresh no ads
Cebuanas unite against cervical cancer |


Cebuanas unite against cervical cancer

OOH LA LAI - Lai S. Reyes - The Philippine Star
Cebuanas unite against cervical cancer
One community, one cause: Advocates, doctors, and key opinion leaders join forces against cervical cancer during the “One Community Against Cervical Cancer: Together We Can Cancel Cervical Cancer” at Ayala Center Cebu.

Healthy women are the backbone of a resilient, stable and thriving society. By encouraging them to invest in their health and protect themselves from diseases like HPV and cervical cancer, they are empowered to create a promising future, not only for themselves but for the people around them.

And that’s what healthcare company MSD in the Philippines did recently during the “One Community Against Cervical Cancer: Together We Can Cancel Cervical Cancer” at Ayala Center Cebu.

Cebuanas — beauty queens, healthcare professionals, and advocates — banded together to raise awareness and fight against cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer: A silent epidemic

Dr. Stippie Mesina (left) and the panelists raise their voices to cancel cervical cancer.

In the Philippines, approximately almost 8,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, and about 11 of them die. The disease is the second most common cancer among Filipino women during their prime years (ages 15 to 44). Precancerous lesions can be detected through screening methods like a Pap smear, and while most women can avoid developing cancer, three to five percent of them may not.

“Cervical cancer is a silent pandemic,” Dr. Stephanie Mesina-Veneracion, an obstetrician-gynecologist, said via Zoom. “And most women aren’t even aware of it. The good news is it can be eradicated through vaccination.”

What you need to know about HPV

HPV or human papillomavirus, a common sexually transmitted infection, is the leading cause of cervical cancer. This disease can be prevented by HPV vaccination, which can be done in various channels: hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and local health centers.

The event is aimed at uniting the community to #CancelCervicalCancer by promoting shared responsibility, awareness, and collaboration.

Apart from cervical cancer, HPV can also cause genital warts and other cancers, including cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, or anus. It can also cause cancer in the back of the throat (called oropharyngeal cancer).

The Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas, represented by Ruff Vincent Valdevieso, the National Immunization Program nurse coordinator, is ensuring that children, particularly females, receive vaccinations to protect against HPV-related diseases.

“We’ve coordinated with various stakeholders to provide free vaccines, which are readily available at public health centers. Children of all genders aged nine to 14 can receive the vaccines to be protected against HPV infections that can lead to cancer later in life. Teens and young adults up to the age of 26 who haven’t started or finished the vaccine series are also encouraged to get vaccinated. Meanwhile, women up to age 45 may be eligible for vaccination after discussing with their healthcare provider.

Adolescents aged nine to 14 receive two doses of the vaccine, while young adults aged 15 to 26 receive three doses.

Studies have shown that the vaccine provides better protection when given to younger individuals and before exposure to HPV.

Mass screenings for women

Dr. Jera Armendarez, head of the Non-Communicable Disease Section at DOH-7, said the DOH is conducting mass screenings for women and has provided testing kits to areas where individuals may be hesitant to undergo Pap smears. The Minglanilla District Hospital is piloting this program with positive results so far.

Pharmacist Elizabeth Tan elaborated on pharmacy-based immunization and said HPV vaccination is available in community pharmacies, with 750 trained and certified pharmacists available to administer them.

The aim is to eliminate cervical cancer by reducing the number of cases to a level where it is no longer a major public health concern. This means having fewer than four cases per 100,000 women per year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

To achieve this, countries should aim to reach three main targets within the current young generation’s lifetime. These targets include ensuring that 90 percent of girls receive the HPV vaccine by age 15, having 70 percent of women screened with an effective test between ages 35 and 45, and ensuring that 90 percent of women with pre-cancer receive treatment and 90 percent of women with invasive cancer receive proper management.

It will require collaboration from society’s various sectors and a focus on women’s health. Raising awareness, providing education, and offering social support at all levels, from individuals to government agencies, is crucial.

Global research suggests that if these interventions are widely implemented and maintained with high coverage by 2030, cervical cancer could be eliminated in most countries by 2120, preventing over 63 million deaths of women worldwide.

Taking action now can save many lives.

vuukle comment


Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with