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Lebanese OBGYN Society, Hypatia Network announce encouraging results on cervical cancer prevention

Lebanon: Monday, September 05 - 2011 @ 11:18

“We are delighted that there has been a modest, but remarkable increase in the number of people who are made aware that cervical cancer can be eradicated through vaccination and regular Pap Smear testing, and that more and more girls and women are getting vaccinated against cervical cancer, the second most common type of reproductive cancers affecting women after breast cancer, which can be mostly avoided,” said Dr. Faysal Kak, LSOG President.

“Worldwide, cervical cancer kills one woman every two minutes, and in view of the availability of primary prevention and screening, we aim and hope that more people will take advantage of the effective price reduction on vaccination, which is now available at three doses costing $75 each, and consider getting vaccinated,” he added.

“Getting vaccinated now helps women protect themselves against abnormal Pap Smears and cervical cancer, which may require invasive treatment and cause problems with fertility, future pregnancies and even mortality,” said Dr. Antoine Chucrallah, President of the Lebanese Society of Pathology – a founding member of the Hypatia Network which also includes international pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, cancer patient support group Fair Face and the May Jallad Foundation for Cancer.

Studies have found that the most effective means of reducing and eliminating cervical cancer is through prevention. It is estimated that alongside regular screening, vaccination could reduce the risk of developing the disease by 94%, compared to no intervention.

Worldwide, cervical cancer is the second biggest cause of female cancer mortality and is estimated to affect 510,000 women each year. Cervical cancer is predominantly caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV), of which types 16 and 18 are the most common cancer-causing and account for over 70% of all cervical cancer cases worldwide. It is estimated up to 80% of women will acquire an HPV infection in their lifetime and almost 50% of these will be with a cancer-causing virus type.

A study announced last year showed that women in Lebanon feel at risk of cervical cancer and are worried they could develop the disease. However, they are not undertaking the appropriate steps to help protect themselves. They falsely put healthy eating and exercise above screening and vaccination. The global survey revealed that while 72% of Lebanese women thought they were likely to develop cervical cancer and 55% of them were worried about it, almost 2/3 (64%) don’t go for regular Pap (cervical) Smear tests, and nearly all (94%) had not been vaccinated to help protect themselves against cervical cancer.

Only 43% of Lebanese women surveyed understood that Pap Smear testing was to detect early signs of cervical cancer, and 16% of them rated healthy eating and exercise above Pap Smear testing (9%) or above getting vaccinated (12%), as actions they would take to help protect themselves against the disease.

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Monday, September 5- 2011 @ 11:18 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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