12 Filipino women die of cervical cancer daily, says DOH

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By Claro A. Lanipa (ALT/CAL/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)

PAGADIAN CITY, 16 October (PIA) – “Statistics show that 12 Filipino women die every day because of cervical cancer,” Dr. Guadalupe T. Ramiso reported on Tuesday, in a stakeholders meeting on Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) held at Mardale Hotel here.

Dr. Ramiso further disclosed that 6,000 Filipino women are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually and 4,395 of them die from the disease. In a recent survey, this disease ranks second as the most frequent cancer affecting women 15-44 years old.Breast cancer ranks first.

“Practically all cervical cancers are caused by some type of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection,” she said.

The United States Centers for Diseases Control (US CDC) reports that women will get at least one HPV infection in their lifetime and 75 percent of invasive cervical cancers are attributed to the so-called HPVs 16 or 18 types that accounts for more than 10 percent of cervical cancers worldwide.

Asked who may be affected by cervical cancer, Ramiso said this ailment affects women in their 40s-50s and rarely in women under 30 years of age.

On the other hand, the Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Survey of 2013 reveals that 1 of 3 Filipino youth engage in premarital sex and majority are males than females. Females as young as 15 years old have begun childbearing, the survey further showed.

Since cervical cancer remains a public health concern that threatens the welfare and well-being of women and the population as well,the Department of Health (DOH) will administer the conduct of HPV vaccination this month of October until November, 2015, to all grade 4 pupils (girls only) aged 9-10 years old in all priority provinces nationwide which include Zamboanga del Sur in Region 9.

HPV vaccination is most effective when given during childhood or adolescence or before sexual debut, when HPV infection is nil or at its lowest. This is also ideal because the immune system is at its strongest and, therefore, will mount a robust response tothe vaccine.

HPV vaccine will be administered incity/municipal health centers and will be given in two doses.The second dose will be given six months after the first dose.