May 20, 2024

At least 12 Filipino women die daily from cervical cancer, which is the second most frequent cancer among women between 15 and 44 years old, the Department of Health said.

Department of Health-Metro Manila Center for Health Development Assistant Regional Director Aleli Annie Grace Sudiacal noted cervical cancer, or the cancer affecting the lower and narrow end of the uterus, is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) which is acquired during unprotected sexual intercourse.

Women are at risk of having cervical cancer if they have recurring HPV infection, she said.

“There are also data stating that those who have had cervical cancer, if you look at their history, they are the ones who had early sex life and or had multiple sexual partners,” she said.

Getting pregnant four times or more, having a weak immune system, smoking, and inhaling second-hand smoke are other causes of cervical cancer.

Data from the HPV Information Centre show the Philippines has a population of 39.6 million women 15 years old and above who are at risk of developing cervical cancer.

Current estimates indicate that about 7,897 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 4,052 die from the disease annually.

Cervical cancer ranks as the second most frequent cancer among women nationwide, next to breast cancer. It is also the second most frequent cancer among women between 15 and 44 years old, Sudiacal said.

Women could be screened for cervical cancer through visual inspection with acetic acid and pap smear.

The DOH targets to screen women 20 years old and above to be screened for cervical cancer, she said. – PNA