Cervical cancer at a glance: risks, symptoms, treatment, and care for women in the UAE
Make January your “Cervical Screening Appointment Month”.
January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month, aiming to raise awareness of the importance of cervical screening among women in the UAE.
It is the fourth most common female cancer in the world, and each year approximately 500,000 cases are diagnosed. Cervical cancer is the third leading cause of death among women and the second most common cancer in women in the UAE.
But cervical cancer is highly curable if detected early.
What is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer develops when cells grow uncontrollably in the cervix and may spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. It affects the cells of the cervix which is the neck of the womb and connects uterus to the vagina.
What can cause cervical cancer?
Common risk factors of cervical cancer include:
- Smoking, which increases the risk of two-fold
- If you've had a high number of pregnancies
- Long-term use of any contraceptive pills
- A weakened immune system
- If you have a history of sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes, chlamydia, etc.
Symptoms of cervical cancer
In the early stages of cervical cancer, women may not experience any symptoms. However in more advanced cases symptoms may include:
- Abnormal bleeding.
- Continuous discharge.
- Spotting between menstruation.
- Pain in the pelvis and lower back.
Diagnoses and treatment for cervical cancer in UAE
Cervical cancer is often curable if diagnosed early. Women must undergo regular Pap-smear testing that helps detect any abnormal cells in the cervix.
What treatments are available for cervical cancer?
Treatment of cervical cancer depends on the cancer stage, age, size, the overall health of the woman.
In selected cases, very early stages of cervical cancer may be occasionally treated by removing the affected part of the cervix whilst preserving the uterus. More advanced stages may require surgical removal of the uterus, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy.
What can I do to prevent cervical cancer?
Vaccination is available at Mediclinic hospitals to protect women against most types of HPV infection.
Different Countries can have different cervical cancer screening guidelines. As per the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, all women between 25 and 65 years of age should have a Pap Smear test.
Screening interval: 25-49 years old every three years, 50-65 years old every five years. Women who are immune-compromised due to disease or medication are urged to have an annual screening.
Get your test at Mediclinic Airport Road Hospital, for an appointment please call – 800 2000.