By John Kariuki
Kenyans have been urged to go for early cancer screening in a bid to prevent the life-threatening illness.
Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix — the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina.
Various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing most cervical cancer.
Dr. Alice Kaaria, a consultant gynaecologist based in Nairobi explains:
“When exposed to HPV, the body’s immune system typically prevents the virus from doing harm. In a small percentage of people, however, the virus survives for years, contributing to the process that causes some cervical cells to become cancer cells.
You can reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer by having screening tests and receiving a vaccine that protects against HPV infection.”
Dr. Kaaria explains to us some of the symptoms of cervical cancer
“Early-stage cervical cancer generally produces no signs or symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of more-advanced cervical cancer include:
- Vaginal bleeding after intercourse, between periods or after menopause
- Watery, bloody vaginal discharge that may be heavy and have a foul odor
- Pelvic pain or pain during intercourse
Dr. Kaaria is available on appointment at her Afya Center clinic and is reachable on 0722695724.