An obstetrician and gynaecologist, Adetola Olatunji, has warned girls and ladies to shun early sexual intercourse and having multiple sex partners to avert the risks of developing the deadly cervical cancer. He said the cancer is common and sexually transmitted. The expert explained that it is caused by a microorganism, called Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, who spoke yesterday at the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, added that HPV had been found in “about 99 per cent of cases of cancer of the cervix”.
Delivering the institution’s 91st inaugural lecture, titled: Female Reproductive Structure and Function: Bane of Women in Developing Countries, Olatunji said immunisation against the virus before the female genital tract is exposed to it could prevent the development of cervical cancer. Citing the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation, the expert said boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 12 years should be vaccinated against the virus before they start having sexual contact. He said early sexual intercourse would expose them to the HPV infection and subsequent transmission to the female genital tract by the male.
Adetola also advised ladies and women to go for early detection checks through “cervical screening” as another way of preventing the development of the deadly disease. Cervical screening, he said, is cheap as its costs only N500 at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH) in Sagamu, Ogun State. Olatunji regretted that despite being preventable, cases of cervical cancer in Nigeria were presented for treatment in advanced stages, when little success could be achieved. The professor also advised women with uterine fibroids to seek proper treatment from experts and desist from living under the illusion that there is a remedy that could make it pass out like faeces through the anus.