EACH year the Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS) recognises the month of April as Cancer Awareness Month and places focus on cervical cancer — the leading gynaecological cancer in Jamaica, and the second cause of cancer-related deaths among Jamaican women.
The main risk factors for cervical cancer are the human papilloma virus (HPV) which is responsible for 90 per cent of all cervical cancer cases, as well as smoking and a weakened immune system.
Cervical cancer is preventable by doing an annual Pap smear test. This is a simple procedure which can be done in a doctor’s office, at a health centre, or at the JCS.
Remember, cervical cancer is preventable. Be sure to do your Pap smear, as this remains the gold standard of screening for cervical cancer, and can detect any abnormalities of the cervix before they become cancerous.