MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Cancer Society states that cancer is the third leading cause of death among Filipino women, after communicable and cardiovascular diseases.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer of the cervix is the second most common cancer among women worldwide, with an estimated 529,409 new cases and 274,883 deaths in 2008.
Unlike other forms of cancer, cervical cancer will not have any symptoms until it is too late. A report published by the WHO says that majority (40-60%) of cervical cancer cases among Filipinas are diagnosed in Stage 3 or 4. Because of late detection, 3 out of 4 women will die within 5 years of diagnosis, WHO adds.
You might think it’s unlikely, but the risk is very real. Cervical cancer is caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a common, highly transmissible virus that is passed from one person to another through direct skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity. The Infectious Diseases Society of America estimates that up to 80% of sexually active women will acquire an HPV infection in their lifetime.
Cervical cancer is one of the few cancer types that can be treated. But by the time cervical cancer is detected and diagnosed, treatment can already be very costly. Prevention, through screening and vaccination, is your strongest defense against cervical cancer and its costs.
To illustrate, here’s an infographic that highlights the cost of cervical cancer prevention vs treatment. – Rappler.com
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