Categories
Cancers

PANCREATIC CANCER; THE SILENT, THE AGGRESSIVE, THE FATAL


If you use an iPhone, iPod or iPad, then you must know Steve Jobs the former chief executive officer (CEO), and co-founder of Apple Inc. who died on October 5, 2011 aged 56 years.

Steve Jobs

He was quite wealthy and, no one would expect him to die at such a young age. This confirms the saying that “money can not buy life”.

Nevertheless, his death can not be entirely attributable to the disease, but he displayed a level of ignorance for one of his calibre. He was diagnosed with Cancer and refused treatment for 9 whole months and, rather sourced for alternative healthcare. That was tantamount to Suicide(wikipedia).

Today, I want to create awareness of this dangerous disease. One of the most aggressive cancers. In fact, like one of my teachers would say, it is one of the fastest ways to die. Gives no prior notice, it just hits and death is in weeks.

Overview of the Pancreas

The pancreas is one of the organs in the body responsible for the secretion of some enzymes, hormones like Insulin which helps in carbohydrate metabolism and utilization. It is located in the abdomen.

Cancer of the pancreas

Cancer of the pancreas is on the rise. It’s a very aggressive tumour and it occurs quite frequently in West Africa. Most patients present with advanced disease.

The peak age of occurrence is 65-75 years. However it has been found in much younger age (Steve was 45 years when he was diagnosed in 2003)

Risk factors

It has a familial background in 10% of patients. With those with at least first two relatives with ca Pancreas, the risk increases by 18-57 fold!

Chronic pancreatitis: This is the inflammation of organ. And the principal cause is Chronic alcohol abuse

Cigarette smoking

Diets rich in fat and protein

Diabetes Mellitus (it occurs twice as frequently in diabetics as in the general population)

Presentation

  • Loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss of about 11kg over a few weeks are usually the first and most constant symptoms of this cancer.
  • Pain is prominent in 80% of cases. It is characteristically a dull ache,  located in the centre of the upper part of the abdomen (epigastrium) which is felt more severely while lying flat with head up (supine). Ache is also aggravated by food intake, or the pain may just be a persistent back pain.
Persistent back pain
  • Jaundice (Yellowish discoloration of the eyes) is the 3rd most encountered symptom occurring in over 75% of cases.

These are the 3 main symptoms. Others may include

  • Diarrhoea, retching and vomiting
  • Liver enlargement which may be as a result of spread to the liver
  • Though rare, but there could be psychiatric manifestations like depression and paranoid psychosis.
  • Passage of blood in stool or dark coloured stool.

Once any of these are noticed, please see a physician fast.
The prognosis of this cancer is poor and there are some available screening tools (tumour markers).

Diagnosis

A high-resolution abdominal ultrasound scan or CT abdomen (with contrast) are readily available for picking out this cancer.

Treatment

Surgery and chemotherapy. Patients with jaundice need operative treatment without delay (Steve refused this for complete 9months. Who knows maybe he would have survived because he had a milder variant of this cancer, not the most aggressive types). Jobs was first diagnosed in 2003, he chose to pursue alternative therapies, including acupuncture, herbal, diet and fruit juice therapy and spiritual consultations. Many of these therapies he found on the internet. An act he regretted till death(wikipedia). Please don’t be like Steve.

The prognosis is poor. But with early intervention after surgery, median survival is about 11-20months and without surgery 6months. Contrary to what some believe, pancreatic cancers can be treatable. Early detection of the disease greatly contributes to the likelihood of successful treatment. Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer can be difficult to detect in its early stages when treatment has been known to be most successful. In addition to pancreatic cancer treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy, new clinical trials are being conducted every day to help combat advanced-stage disease.

Prevention

1. Adequate medical check up: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who died on September 18, 2020 at age 87 due to complications related to pancreatic cancer. She was first diagnosed with early stage pancreatic cancer in 2009. She had no symptoms of the disease at the time – it was discovered during a regular checkup. She was an inspiration to cancer fighters.

Justice Ruth Ginsburg

This shows that the importance of regular medical check up can never be over-emphasised

2. Avoidance of alcohol and cigarette smoking

3. Health diet: A healthful diet can contribute to maintaining a healthy pancreas

Disclaimer: This isn’t for diagnostic purposes.

Categories
Cancers General

Tobacco evil, multiple effects


I met Jack a few years ago. He was practically everything I wanted. We got talking and I couldn’t help but admire him. He was an awesome fellow. But I always noticed he had a whiff of nicotine breath each time we met.
By the 3rd week, he confessed to me he was addicted to smoking cigarettes following a request from him to smoke in my presence.

He smoked at least 2 packs of cigarettes each day, he admitted.
Seriously, I tried to talk him out of it. But when it was clear to me he wasn’t ever going to change, I walked out of his life without looking back.


You can call me selfish, yes, but I don’t want to spend my life taking care of a partner who failed to take care of himself while he could, or battling with a disease acquired through passive smoking.

Tobacco kills up to half of its users.

Tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year. More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.

Cigarette smoking, according to the CDC, causes more preventable deaths each year than the combination of HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use and motor vehicle injuries.
Smoking is addictive and sometimes difficult for those who smoke to easily walk away from this habit. This addiction also drives up the profit of Tobacco companies. They ain’t gonna stop producing cigarettes anyway.

You can have some of these effects of cigarette smoking even without being an active smoker. Passive smoking is as dangerous as active smoking. Passive smoking is the inhalation of smoke (secondhand smoke) by persons other than the active smoker.


We probably all know at least one person who smokes cigarettes. The effects on the body are varied and widespread, however, no one has told you these things I’m about to share with you today…

  1. Smokers are at an increased risk of CANCERS:
    Smoking can cause cancers almost anywhere in the body.
    Lung cancers, in more than 90% of cases are caused by smoking. Lung cancers are also seen among passive smokers and rarely among non-smokers. The link between smoking and lung cancer is very strong and almost always diagnosed very late.
    Mouth, tongue, laryngeal, esophageal, liver and stomach cancers are also strongly linked to smoking.
    Pancreatic and skin cancers have also been linked to cigarette smoking.
    Many who smoke also ingest alcohol. This combination exponentially increases the risk of all cancers.
  2. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a medical condition that affects the respiratory system. In this case, the chemicals from smoking cigarette destroys the lung tissues, making them less efficient in their function. Individuals tend to cough a lot with copious sputum production and poor body oxygenation. It is progressive and irreversible, usually leading to respiratory failure and even heart failure. It commonly reduces the life span of affected individuals.
    Tobacco smoke is capable of triggering an asthmatic attack even in previously undiagnosed individuals.
  3. Atherosclerosis which is the thickening of blood vessels can lead to stroke, heart failure and other diseases. Smoking leads to premature or a rapid ageing of the blood vessels, making them stiffer, clogged and narrower.
    This limits blood flow to vital organs of the body including the brain (causing a STROKE), heart (causing HEART ATTACK or myocardial infarction), kidneys (causing KIDNEY FAILURE), eyes (causing DETERIORATION IN EYESIGHT), leg vessels (causing pain on walking or CLAUDICATION) and the penis (causing ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION).
    Male smokers produce less viable sperms and are more likely to be infertile compared to their non-smoking peers.
  4. Cigarette smoking in pregnancy causes low birth weight, premature labour and an increased risk of sudden death of the baby (within the womb) before it is delivered.
    Smoking also makes it more difficult for a woman to get pregnant.
  5. For those who are so concerned about their skin, smoking damages the skin. Making it rougher, wrinkled with an increased risk of developing skin cancers.
    If you want a smooth and shiny skin, then smoking cigarettes actively or passively must be avoided at all cost.
  6. Maintaining a beautiful set of teeth is out of the question with cigarette smoking. Tobacco blackens the teeth and causes gum disease with early enamel erosion. Regular toothaches and dental visits is their lot. I am yet to see a smoker with an inviting healthy smile.
  7. A bad breath is the norm with smokers too. Long after smoking, it stays with them. A bad breath among smokers can not be eliminated simply by brushing the teeth or licking tom-tom, as the breath comprises exhaled air from the lungs. It can be irritating, a regular source of a bad impression from strangers.
  8. Exposure to cigarette smoking at an early age causes delay in lung maturation.
Exposure to cigarette smoking at an early age causes delay in lung maturation.

These effects, which by no means is exhaustive as smoking affects every organ in the body, can similarly be caused by either smoking cigars or pipes. So one does not go on playing the ostrich.
You mustn’t be an active smoker to have any of these, passive smoking can also result in these.
Do you see why I said what I said? I can not suffer for another man’s foolishness.

Bringing an end to the habit of smoking is, admittedly, not an easy endeavour. It requires a strong personal desire to quit and stay smoke-free.
One will need:


*Family and friends support…Encouragement from supporting family members can be motivating.


*Behavioral changes (like avoiding joints/clubs or places where others smoke and seeking a diversion for when the cravings arise).


*Nicotine replacement therapy (nicotine patches) help when those who were avidly addicted develop withdrawal symptoms like headaches and the shakes.


*Prescription drugs to discourage smoking are also available.


*Join a support group. These groups comprising anonymous repentant addicts who chose to support each other may be uncommon in Nigeria for now. But some organizations can be reached by phone or online for psychological and material support.

Support group

Taking the first step by making a firm resolution is key as the necessary help can easily be assessed wherever one is in this country.
Say no to cigarette smoking, and say NO today.
Do not wait until the claws of a debilitating disease bring you down to a level of helplessness, forced to give up this habit when it is too late.

The clock is ticking

Disclaimer: The character depicted is fictitious. Any similarity to actual person living or dead is purely coincidental

Categories
Cancers General

COLORECTAL CANCER: THE CHADWICK CANCER


COLORECTAL CANCER : THE CHADWICK CANCER

Some weeks ago, the internet was set ablaze following the death of the legendary actor, Chadwick Bozeman who died on August 28, 2020 at the age of 43 years. He died from Stage 3 COLORECTAL CANCER.

Chadwick Boseman

His death obviously, has created more awareness on this cancer. However, besides just knowing the cause of his death, I deemed it necessary, additionally, to let us know the peculiar characteristics about this common cancer.

Colon simply means ‘Large intestine’. The rectum begins after the large intestine and ends at the anus.

Colorectal cancer is cancer occurring within this two segments, colon and or rectum.

It is the third commonest cancer worldwide in both sexes.

Cancer of the colon is more common in women, while rectal cancer is commoner among men.

It occurs at any age but especially between 40 – 79 years. The highest occurrence is seen in those between 60 – 79 years. Chadwick was 43 years when he died.
Chadwick was diagnosed four years ago and he had quietly lived through a series of surgeries and chemotherapy without announcing it, while at the same time embarking on his daily activities. Early this year, he was noted to have lost weight making friends express some concern about his health.

Associated Risks for developing colorectal cancer

*Diet:

  • Red meat- beef, pork and their processed varieties like bacon and ham increase the risk of this cancer. Those who eat two portions a day are at increased risk over those who eating one portion a week.

  • High intake of fat, especially saturated fat.
  • Low intake of fruits and vegetables in diet.

*First degree relative having the cancer increases the risk of having it.

*Pre-existing conditions like adenoma, ulcerative colitis

Hereditary : about 10-15% are hereditary which also predisposes to breast, uterus and gastric (stomach) cancers.

*Obesity

*Exposure to radiations

HOW DOES IT PRESENT (SYMPTOMS)

👉 The most important and common symptoms of colorectal cancer are CHANGE IN BOWEL HABITS AND ABDOMINAL PAIN. It may be diarrhea, constipation or both.

👉 Passage of blood or mucus in stool
👉 Unintentional weight loss
👉 Lump in the abdomen
👉 Persistent abdominal discomfort – feeling bloated, cramps.
👉 Weakness and fatigue
👉 Bleeding from the anus

The symptoms are usually ignored especially by younger people. I hope Chadwick’s painful demise will awaken the desire to take our health more seriously and never take any body changes for granted.

What you must do

  • Healthy diet :

  1. consume more of fruits and vegetables, while grain cereals, and eating fish every other day is protective. Reduce the consumption of processed meat and fatty meals.

  • Once you notice any of the above symptoms please see a Doctor, a general surgeon preferably.Each one can easily tell when something is wrong with his/her body (bowel habits).I repeat once you notice any of the symptoms please see a doctor.
    He will most likely carry out a colonoscopy (visually examining inside the colon using a scope) and take a biopsy to make a diagnosis.
    This facility is increasingly available to us in Nigeria.
  • Know your family history of cancers. Once you have a family history of colorectal cancer, you must have a colonoscopy.
  • Avoid sedentary life. Exercise more often.

When detected on time, the outcome is a lot better and with a family history, early screenng is always beneficial and can be life saving.

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Categories
Cancers

LIFE OF AN AVERAGE NIGERIAN DOCTOR



As a young lad in secondary school, it was a thing of pride to be among those considered worthy of being part of the “science” arm of the class. With all the chemistry and physics…oh dear, what a waste now. Biology was my joy…I could draw the most beautiful of cockroaches; I knew the life cycle of the butterfly, cocoons, and all. Oh, how much I reveled in my elements then.

Cockroach


So as the time approached to write the secondary school certificate exams, and subsequently the almighty JAMB, it was only a matter of being counted among the elite who had decided to pen down the choice of “Medicine” as a career option.
It was also “Medicine” as a second choice…


I didn’t know jack about Medicine. I wanted to be called “Dr”; my parents were delighted at the thought of having a Dr in the family.
I was raised in average family background, with a father who was a Civil Servant and a Teacher for a mother. My lot could be described as being born with a silver-plated spoon. A good basic education was key to my subsequent academic success but on the back of parents who gave their all, sacrificed in excess of what I got to learn later to be from genuine selflessness.
Hmmmm, sometimes I wish…

I chose to do Medicine and gained admission to one of the best Universities in the country. We, “medical students” strolled around the campus with an air of arrogance. Well, some did.

However, some hated their choice right from the onset while only an insignificant number changed course after the first baptism of PHY 101, 102, and 103. The nightmare that was biochemistry.

Kreb cycle

The kreb cycle remained what it described ever in my memory…only a cycle. I read it with my eyes open only to forget once I blinked a couple of times. I could make no point of it. I avoided reading it and didn’t bother about it in the exams. I began to wonder if this was “Medicine”. And this toil continued throughout the length of the course.


It became more familiar to my imagination at the clinical end. The wardrounds, clinics, theatre sections, Community medicine postings, lectures etc. In the hospital, we interacted with the senior Drs, Professors. We looked up to them. Admired their carriage, knowledge but not their lifestyle.
Only a few of my teachers lived a life of opulence, a handful really. Then the strikes. The resident Drs strikes were frequent and sometimes long. The University staff also had their share of strikes.

A six-year course, on paper, stretched further and further. It was frustrating to see my friends in Economics, Sociology, or even Industrial Physics finish and graduate after four (4) years. It was frustrating, to put it mildly. Our friends in Engineering supposedly would graduate after 6 to 7 years. My set graduated after 8 and a half years of schooling, without exam repetition.

At last a Dr, Dr. A.A. was like a badge of honor. My efforts had been fruitful. The sleepless nights, the endless cramming, the deprivations- social and nutritional had now come to an end…or so I thought.

Then on graduation day, our lecturer told us “your MBBS is the certificate you need to start studying medicine”. What…? Hell no. And that statement is true, only if you choose to practice “Medicine” at a higher level. Most of us did, eventually.
Practicing with only the MBBS certificate can make one rich, no doubt, but it comes at a price to the clients and patients.


We learned about the USMLE, UK Plab, and the residency training in Nigeria. Residency here takes another 6 to 7 years to complete. Meanwhile, it’s very competitive to get into one. The training can be grueling, and humiliating if you have horrible supervising consultants.

The junior residency was a nightmare. One is overworked, sent about like a houseboy by senior residents and consultants alike, and looked down upon by the medical students. The professional exams are expensive and could be a potential banana skin. Many times examiner dependent. It was horrible.
The pay was at best enough for your daily needs. Not suffering, but not able to afford many luxuries.
The years passed, the salaries remained meager. We looked forward to it from month to month. We made fun that a resident Dr could not afford to do a CT brain scan if he had a need for it. It was laughable. Pay has improved over the years as resident Dr can afford a lot more now than before, but the Nigerian economy makes rubbish of these gains. It’s just a rat race.


By the end of the residency program, one has the option of going into private practice as a specialist or going into public service. At this point, I was well into my thirties, I knew only medicine. I got a job quite alright, but that was all. It was again one payday to another. Sometimes you are able to get a little extra from extending your expertise beyond your routine job. That extra can be very rewarding depending on your expertise and scope of activity. The rarer your practice the more one can charge for his services. I know a surgeon who charges up to N2m for a case, while I have also seen one who runs his practice like a business model…a huge partnership with retainerships of multinationals. One depends on his hands to make money; the other is capable of retiring while the business remains productive.


For the vast majority the monthly pay is their gain. Some private hospitals do make a whole lot of money, but the business model is the problem. Revolving around the proprietor. The quest for self-improvement and greater financial reward can be overbearing too. Those who have the means, relatives living abroad, or with an early burning desire for a better life as a Dr. get to leave the country as soon as they obtain the MBBS degree. Those who leave much later, do so after they have had some experience here in Nigeria. About 65% of my graduating class is outside the country practicing. With each passing year, the proportion gets closer to 75%.


And if one chooses to practice in Nigeria, the challenges are enormous; The out of pocket payment system largely practiced here is inhumane. Nobody puts money aside for hospital expenses, No. From their savings they pay for everything. Only a few have health insurance. And most cannot afford basic care. Tests cannot be done, are too expensive, or come too late for the purpose for which it is meant. The produced result could also be outright wrong.

Patients may also be unable to afford basic medicines or surgeries. I believe medical care should be subsidized in this country. Many people die not because of their illness and cannot be treated, but because they lack the necessary means to obtain the right treatment.


I have seen patients die from tetanus or meningitis because they could not afford the drugs. I have tasked my Drs and sometimes students to raise money to get drugs for some patients. But to what end I ask myself most times when raised monies can only afford a day’s worth of drugs. A small contribution all the same.

Medical practice in a government-run hospital is very gloomy. The environment is dense with the stench of suffering among the people. Sometimes visiting relatives look more wretched than the patients themselves. They have had to deprive themselves to provide the little for the sick family member. Yet this is the last point of call for the vast populace.
The private sector deals mainly with those who can pay more for the same service, albeit, provided at a much-expedited rate. But it also provides an avenue for quackery and unprofessional practice. Ethical malpractice is also rife in government hospitals.

However, what I still find difficult to fathom is the ease with which Drs can readily abandon their patients already on admission to embark on strike action. It is understandable why they have to go on strike, but what role has the farmer on the bed post-op or, the child with a broken tibia got to do with it?


Compounding these is the lack of commitment from political officeholders. I once interacted with one who had weird ideas about how a hospital should be run. It is pathetic. Nothing touches them; even the coronavirus infection has ignited their desire to exploit the already abhorrent state of medical care in Nigeria, than a desire to fix it. For health workers to go on strike in the middle of a pandemic is not only condemnable but also pitiable.

Nigerian Doctors protesting.


Health is wealth means nothing in this country. I as a Dr want to work, work hard, and be adequately rewarded. Also to provide a level of service that is obtainable anywhere in the world. Most people talk about medical tourism India is providing. Yes. Both private and public hospitals in India aim to make more money by providing state of the art facilities with the attendant manpower. We read about procedures and treatment modalities in texts and medical journals…and it is as it is practiced in Europe and America. They put to pen what they do. Nigeria still does things not even recommended anymore. Most times not found in the texts.

Copyright , BusinessDay


So what other joy can a Dr have…to practice using the best available evidence, producing tangible and reproducible results while getting remunerated appropriately? To be fully committed to one job, and yet enjoy the little luxuries life has to offer.


I do encourage any Dr to go out and experience the world. Broaden one’s horizon and choose to practice at the highest level. It can be achieved here in Nigeria, but for others, they shall find their calling in other climes.

The smile of a recovering patient


However, medical practice also has its non-material rewards. The smile and laughter of a recovering patient despite the numerous challenges can be exhilarating. That sense of fulfillment of getting a diagnosis spot on when others have failed. For some, it is the elixir that enables one to continue in what one does. Only, I wish that the number of people who leave our care better off should dwarf into insignificance the number of those who succumb eventually. I just wish sick Nigerians come earlier for their necessary care.
The only regret I have in this practice…most of us, through the long period of training, have been shown only the narrow tunnel that is medical practice.

I now wish I know a lot more about the world, about business and making money. Not being daily surrounded by sick, sad, and incapacitated patients in an environment considered to be a cesspool of antibiotic-resistant organisms.


There are bound to be disappointments too. As a Dr, I realize now I can do anything, any course and excel in it; finish with a first class. I wonder sometimes how life would have turned out for me as an accountant, or computer scientist. But probably not in this life anymore or just maybe…we never say never in medicine. I still love what I do, as working on the human body instills into most people a certain degree of reverence. My only wish now is to make the best of what is left of the years ahead of me.

Written by A Medical Consultant.

Categories
Cancers

BREAST CANCER


Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women worldwide.

It affects both men and women, but more common in women in a ratio of 100:1. I in 12 Black women will have breast cancer

Risk factors

  1. Age: rare before 20 years. More common in those >40 years.

  2. Gender: more common in women. Accounts for over 40% cancers in Nigerian women, and 1% in men

  3. Genetic predisposition

  4. Prolonged exposure to estrogen as in early menarche, late menopause, nulliparity (childllessness) and and prolonged use of oral contraceptive pill (over 5 years)

  5. Tobacco Smoking and alcohol consumption

  6. Previous breast lump

  7. Obesity

  8. Radiations

What do you know about it?
Ok! I know you know it is currently the most common cancer in women.
But do you know you can detect it at its earliest stage, and continue with your life?
Long ago, it was thought to occur only in elderly women, but now studies have found it can occur at an earlier age in African women.

Symptoms

Breast cancer usually presents as a

  1. Painless lump in over 90% of the cases. do this is the reason why you should always examine your breast every month, as you may never know until it’s too late.

  2. Blood stained Nipple discharge

  3. Nipple changes like inversion, retraction

  4. Ulceration of nipple and overlying skin

  5. Lump in the armpit or arm etc

Prevention

  1. SELF EXAMINATION. This simple method can help you detect breast cancer at its early stage, making prognosis very good.

How is this done?

  • Ideally it should be done every month #(7days after your menstrual flow).
  • Lying down face up (supine).
  • The two breasts should be examined. ….checking for a lump including the areola/nipple area.
    Don’t forget your #axilla (armpit). Yes, the breast can extend to that region in some women. It’s called Axillary tail. Lumps can be located in any part if the breast.
  • This is recommended for every female from #20years. Yes! 20years.
  • Any abnormality found should be reported to a Doctor.

However, if you have a relative who had breast cancer be it mother, aunt, sister, grandmother; in addition to Self breast examination, you should be examined by a Doctor every year.

  1. Prophylactictic mastectomy : this is the surgicsl removal of the breast to prevent cancer of the breast.

Angelina Jolie, the famous American actress and Academy Award winner, announced that doctors told her she had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer because of a certain gene she was carrying. Shortly after that, Jolie underwent a preventative double mastectomy.

Angelina Jolie

  1. Early marriage to ensure first pregnancy is achieved before the age of 30 years. First pregnancy after 30 years increases the risk of breast cancer.

  2. No tobacco or alcohol consumption

  3. Mammogram: Women with an average risk of breast cancer should undergo regular screening mammography starting at 45 years of age

  4. Avoid sedentary lifestyle and exercise more often.

Forget all myths you heard about it, an early detection provides you an excellent chance of long term survival.

Categories
Cancers

Questions on Cervical Cancer


So, I’ve received quite a number of comments and questions. People asking questions concerning the HPV Vaccine/Cervical cancer. I didn’t expect all that, and I must say I’m highly impressed. Incase you missed the post click here https://olasmedicalblog.wordpress.com/2020/06/05/cervical-cancer/

Yes, medicine now is focused on prevention rather than cure. Incase you missed the post click here
So I’m going to share a few of the questions here and try to answer as much as I can.

  1. I’m 32 years can I receive this vaccine?

Ans: It’s recommended for those between the ages of 9- 12 and this is to make sure every girl receives it before she’s sexually active. However, it has been extended to 26years (Catch up).

However, anyone who is sexually active should undergo a screening first. The screening method ranges from HPV screening, Pap smear, colposcopy etc. Because it has to be established one isn’t infected already.
However those over 26yrs can also receive it.

  1. Can a pregnant/lactating mother receive it?

Ans: NO

  1. Can a virgin receive the vaccine?

ANS: YESSSSSSS. In fact, they’re the perfect candidates for this vaccine.

4: Can the males also receive it?

Ans: Yes. The same virus (HPV) is implicated also in Anal cancer, Anal warts etc. So males can.

5: How much does this vaccine cost?

Ans: it is dependent on your area. Currently, it’s not readily available in most government hospitals but I know some private hospitals offer it. So the price is dependent on the hospital. We’re hoping in the nearest future it should be made readily available and affordable too.

  1. Are there other methods I can adopt asides the vaccine to prevent this cancer?

Ans: Yes. But, there’s a but the options include:

  • Being faithful to one faithful partner (very important) and avoiding multiple sexual partners.
  • Remaining a virgin all through your life, lol!

So the choice is yours.

  1. Why doesn’t condom prevent it like other STDs?

ANS: The virus is usually present in the perianal areas of the host….so condom only covers the halos. So any form of skin to skin contact can help the spread it

Thanks!

Categories
Cancers Women's health

Cervical cancer, what you must know.


The cervix is the lower portion of the uterus, an organ of the female reproductive tract. It connects the vagina with the main body of the uterus, acting as a gateway between them.

CERVICAL CANCER is a #sexually transmitted disease* caused by a virus Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Strange right? It is usually seen among women above the age of 40 years. However the incidence is now rising in those less than 30 

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

It’s s the commonest gynecological cancer in our environment because of the absence of screening guidelines unlike in developed countries.

It is only seen in women who are sexually active and usually in those with multiple sexual partners So the big question is… What is multiple sexual partner*?

PREVENTION

It can be prevented through:

  1. Abstinence . Very straightforward. A virgin can’t have Cervical cancer. It’s that simple.

2.FAITHFULNESS: Not just being faithful to your partner but being FAITHFUL TO A FAITHFUL PARTNER. Yes,this is very important. If you’re faithful to your partner who has 3 other partners…..I’m sorry because it’s as good as nothing. Infact it also means you’re involved indirectly with those other partners of his and that also makes you at risk of acquiring this virus. So do you trust your PARTNER? Condom doesn’t confer any protection. Don’t ever forget this.

Condom does not confer any protection

3.VACCINE!:
This seems like the most realistic. The vaccine is available
It is recommended that they be given to all females at 11 – 12 years of age routinely, as well as girls and women age 13 – 26 years who have not been vaccinated (catch-up population), it can be given as early as 9 years of age.
These vaccines are preventive as they prevent cervical cancer and do not cute it.
All HPV vaccines should be given as a 3-dose schedule, with the second dose given 1 to 2 months after the first dose and the third dose 6 months after the first dose. The minimum interval between the first and second doses of vaccine is 4 weeks. The minimum interval between the 2nd and 3rd dose is 6weeks.

THOSE WHO ARE SEXUALLY ACTIVE BUT WISH TO RECEIVE THE VACCINE?

Individuals who are already sexually exposed who wish to receive this vaccine must first be SCREENED.

SCREENING:

This is important because Cancer of the cervix manifests slowly and first as a pre-malignant lesion (precancerous) which can take several years to become a full blown cancer. So when detected at this pre-malignant stage, it can be treated.

The screening methods include:
1. Papanicolaou test (Pap smear)

  1. HPV testing

3. Colposcopy

Who isn’t eligible?

Everyone isn’t eligible for it. It can’t be given to
1. Females less than 9yrs

2.Pregnant women. It is not

recommended during pregnancy and should be given after delivery.

3.HIV patients

Click here on the link above ☝️☝️☝️☝️☝️☝️ to read about this 22yrs old girl with Cervical cancer



If you reside in Imo or within its environs and wish to receive this vaccine,  please indicate here or drop Whatsapp message at 08058542816