Rwanda is set to be the first country in the great lakes region to launch the comprehensive cervical cancer prevention campaign.The campaign will involve the vaccination of over 100,000 primary school girls aged between 9 and 12 as well as conduct screening tests for women aged over 15 years.
However as much strides are being made to prevent women and girls from getting infected, not much is known about cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer in women; usually it starts as a precancerous condition called dysplasia, and it mainly develops on the surface of the cervix.
When its not detected early the precancerous condition grows and later develops to into the cervical cancer and spreads to either the bladder, the lungs, intestines or the liver. In Rwanda alone, apart from breast cancer, cervical cancer is reported as the top most killer disease among women.
Unlike other types cancer, cervical cancer is caused by the human pappiloma virus, a virus that is spread through sexual intercourse. Other risk factors that also cause cervical cancer include having sexual intercourse at an early age as well as sleeping with multiple partners who participate in high-risk sexual activities and taking of oral contraceptives.
Unlike in the olden days, medical practitioners insist that if detected early any form of cancer can be cured. Hence the need for conducting regular screening tests. One of the ways of preventing cervical cancer is through administering the HPV vaccine to young girls who are not yet sexually active.
Medical practitioners also encourage women to limit the number of sexual partners and avoid partners who participate in high-risk sexual activities. It is normally said that prevention is better than cure, and safe sex whether married or not is one way of preventing oneself from not only being a victim of HIV/AIDS but also from being a victim of cervical cancer.