Issue of May 14, 2017
Mt. Province

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Doc clarifies, cervical cancer not hereditary
by Julie G. Fianza / PIO

A medical specialist at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center debunked the misconception that cervical cancer is hereditary.

Dr. Jimmy Billod of the BGHMC Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology said 99 percent of cervical cancer cases is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which could be acquired through sexual contact with a person afflicted by the virus.  

Billod said practicing safe sex, having HPV vaccine shots, practicing a healthy lifestyle, minimizing vices, and having regular check-ups lessen the risk of having cervical cancer.

He said women who experience abnormal bleeding, spotting or discharges, low back or pelvic pain, or edema should visit a doctor for Pap smear or screening.

The rate of survival is high if a patient detects the disease during the early stage.

Billod said malignant cervical cancer along with breast and lung cancer is one of the top three causes of death. He, however, said the disease is preventable and curable.   

In 2016, 10 to 15 cervical cancer patients visited the BGHMC every week. Seventy-five percent of BGHMC’s cervical cancer patients are from the neighboring provinces, with a portion from the Cordillera, Billod said. He added most of them are 30 to 45 years old.

Women who are 18 years old could submit themselves to screening, Pap smear and regular check-up, or avail themselves of the HPV vaccine to protect their health, Billod added.

DNA testing every five years could also be done, but the cost is prohibitive.

May is Cervical Cancer Consciousness Month.

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