Cervical Cancer: What You Should Know and Do About It

Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama giving his message to the crowd of women outside City hall
I was able to join in on the Celebration of International Women's Day in cebu which not only promotes the rights of women but also their health. There was also a Cervical Cancer Education Campaign to educate not just women, media, and government, but also men and the general Public as to What we Should Know and Do About It.

Cervical Cancer: What You Should Know and Do About It~ Guide

It’s the last two minutes – not for a basketball game, but for another life lost to cervical cancer. Statistics reveal that cervical cancer kills 12 Filipina women on a daily basis and that half of those diagnosed with the cancer are expected to die within five years. There is a need for every female to be on guard against cervical cancer. More than half of the women with cervical cancer in the Philippines will die within five years after diagnosis. It is a disease that strikes women regardless of age and class.

International Women's Day Celebration in City Hall with various advocates and Women's Groups
But there is good news. Females from ten years old onwards can be vaccinated using the cervical cancer vaccine, which is designed to last effectively for both young and mature women. The Human Papilloma Virus or HPV causes cervical cancer. Up to 80% of women will have HPV in their lifetime, and 50% of the time the virus will be of the cancer-causing type. “In developing countries such as the Philippines, there is a greater, more immediate need to protect women from the disease,” says Dra. Cecilia Llave, Philippine Obstetrics and Gynecological Society. She explains that the cervical cancer vaccine helps in abating the cancer from claiming the lives of more Filipinas by protecting against the strains which commonly affect women here in the country.

Women need not be helpless. The cervical cancer vaccine provides significant protection for women against HPV 16 and 18 – the two most common cancer-causing HPV types – for at least eight and a half years, the longest duration of protection reported to date. Knowing the enemy is a step closer in winning the game. With sufficient awareness, surveillance, advocacy and prevention, women will definitely triumph over this disease.

From all over the world, a woman dies from cervical cancer every two minutes. And without prevention, the next casualties are yourself or the women closest to you.

So be in the know. Be aware of the dangers posed by cervical Cancer as well as the effective strategies for its prevention. With sufficient awareness, surveillance, advocacy and prevention, the next two minutes won’t have to be the last for anyone, especially for the women around you.

Former Binibing Pilipinas titlist Abigail Arenas, Pia Magalona, wife of the late master rapper Francis M, Dr. Belinda PaƱares of Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) representative Derrick Sim
Here are some fast facts on one of the leading killers of women worldwide:

About Cervical Cancer

• Worldwide, cervical cancer kills one woman every 2 minutes1
• 12 Filipinas die of cervical cancer everyday. It’s also the 2nd biggest cause of female cancer mortality in the Philippines1
• Cervical cancer is caused by certain type of virus called human papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV: the virus behind cervical cancer

• There are about 100 known types of HPV2, of which 15 can cause cervical cancer3
• HPV types 16 and 18 are the most common cancer-causing virus types and account for over 70% of all cervical cancer cases worldwide4
• Women can have an HPV infection regardless of their age or lifestyle.
• Aside from engaging in sexual intercourse, you can also get HPV from skin-to-skin contact (rubbing) of genitals even without sexual penetration. You can also get it from prolonged exposure and direct contact with objects or materials that carry the infection, such as towels, clothing, and the like.
• Most HPV infections heal on their own; but this doesn’t apply to all cases. When an HPV infection persists, it could develop into cervical cancer 8

The Braveheart Foundation represented by Abigail Arenas is advocating programs aimed at reducing the incidence of cervical cancer among women.
Preventing Cervical Cancer through the Single Visit Approach (SVA), Cryotherapy, and Vaccination

SVA: This combines both screening and treatment in one session. It uses an effective, low-resource screening method called the Visual Inspection using Acetic Acid (VIA)--a simple technique that uses vinegar to detect precancerous lesions on the cervix.

CRYOTHERAPHY: A process where the areas with lesions are frozen using a common liquid coolant like carbon dioxide, effectively eliminating the abnormality and preventing possible progression to cancer.

VACCINATION: There are now vaccines available against cancer-causing HPV types 16 and 18. Along with regular screening, getting vaccinated can reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer by 94%.9

Public Vaccination: Sim of GlaxoSmithKline reduced the price of vaccine for cervical cancer up to 60 percent as part of their corporate social responsibility (shot costs P2,000 to P3,000);
For young girls between 15-25 years old, long-lasting protection is necessary because this is when they will be the most prone to the HPV virus.10 However, that doesn’t mean that women under or beyond that age bracket are safe. An HPV vaccination should provide long-term protection for all women, since they will be vulnerable to HPV infection throughout their lives.11-12

With that, the ‘Queen City of the South’ should have the distinction of being a woman-friendly city. For more information about cervical cancer, visit www.Xoutcervicalcancer.com.ph.
Cervical Cancer: What You Should Know and Do About It Cervical Cancer: What You Should Know and Do About It Reviewed by Vernon Joseph Go on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. @VernonGo still cost prohibitive for such a vaccine that should be supported and made more accessible by DOH. May is cervical cancer month, so I hope the government will be doing something more than just free screening.

  2. yes, I agree that it is still expensive but what makes it more expensive I guess is not knowing about it which almost always costs more in the long term, though this project is in partnership with the City--they are still promoting awareness for prevention but that solely depends on the freewill which can be tricky