Cervical cancers can be treated if detected early and the persons put on medication, Dr Eunice Boakye Yiadom, a resident, in-family medicine at the Gynaecology Unit of the Sunyani Regional Hospital, has said.
She called on young women, particularly those living with HIV to go for regular screening to know their health status.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani, Dr Yiadom said people living with HIV had high risk of contracting cervical cancers, saying if detected early patients could be put on drugs to facilitate their treatment process.
Dr Yiadom explained cancer screening was recommended at least every five years, noting that increasing cases of cervical cancers threatened the nation’s efforts towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Eliminating cervical and penile cancer would contribute to several SDG Goals, including; eliminating poverty (SDG 1), good health and well-being (SDG 3), reducing by one third the premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases (SDG 3.4) and ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services (SDG 3.7).
Dr Yiadom regretted that despite global efforts to achieve the SDGs, cervical cancers accounted for about 90 percent of cancer-related deaths in middle income countries and called on all stakeholders to help intensify awareness creation on cancers.
She said governments in Africa must also do more to inform their people about cancers to help fight against the disease and pushed the continent to achieve the set targets for the SDGs by 2030.
Dr Yiadom said the virus, which causes cervical cancers, developed between 10 and 15 years after contracting it, hence the need for women to go for regular medical screening.
She said it had been unproven and remained untrue that cervical cancers were linked to witchcraft or curse, and advised women who developed turmoil in their bodies to visit health facilities for medication attention.