Cervical cancer affects more black women, study reveals – News X

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Cervical cancer affects more black women, study reveals
– News X

Black women, women with low education and women from the North are the most affected by cervical cancer. The information is in info.oncollect, an unprecedented publication by the Cancer Foundation, released this Friday (25). The bulletin brings data and seeks to draw attention to the incidence of the disease which, according to specialists, can be avoided and even eradicated from Brazil with vaccines and preventive exams.

According to the bulletin, cervical cancer, in its most severe form, affects 49 out of every 100,000 women in Brazil. Considering only the North Region, the incidence is higher, 79 per 100,000 women, the highest rate in the country. The Southeast Region has the lowest incidence: 36 per 100,000 women.

Among the cases analyzed, more than 60% were black women and about half were women with low education. Considered only the most severe form of cancer, 62% of cases were recorded in women with low education. The bulletin uses population data and records from more than 300 hospitals across the country from 2005 to 2019.

Across the country, eight out of every 100,000 women die from this cancer, according to data from 2015 to 2020. In the North Region, the number is higher, 15 out of every 100,000 women, while in the Southeast Region it drops to approximately 6 women every 100 thousand.

“The data brought information that shows how unequal cancer care is in Brazil”, says epidemiologist and medical consultant at the Cancer Foundation, Alfredo Scaff. “Cancer is a time-dependent disease. The sooner we make the diagnosis, the better. The earlier we manage to make the diagnosis, the faster the treatment, the less painful and the longer the survival of the patients”, adds Scaff.

prevention and symptoms

The main cause of cervical cancer, according to the Ministry of Health, is infection by some types of virus called Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). It is a type of cancer that takes many years to develop. The alterations of the cells that give rise to this cancer are, however, easily discovered in the preventive examination. As the disease progresses, the main symptoms are vaginal bleeding, discharge and pain.

To avoid the disease, the main recommendation for all women who have had sexual intercourse, especially those between 25 and 59 years old, is to take the preventive test, the so-called Papanicolaou, which is the collection of secretions from the cervix, using spatula and brush. The material is placed on a glass slide to be examined later under a microscope.

Lesions that precede cervical cancer do not have symptoms, but can be discovered through the Papanicolau. When cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the chances of cure are 100%.

In addition to exams, vaccination is a way to fight the disease. The HPV vaccine is offered free of charge by the Unified Health System (SUS) at health posts. It is aimed at boys and girls aged 9 to 14 years old. Immunosuppressed men and women, 9 to 45 years old, living with HIV/AIDS, solid organ or bone marrow transplant recipients and cancer patients can also be vaccinated.

According to the Ministry of Health, vaccination against HPV in adolescents is adopted in more than 100 countries. In several of these countries, there are studies of the impact of this strategy with positive results in the prevention and reduction of diseases caused by the virus, such as cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, anal region, penis and oropharynx.

According to the executive director of the Cancer Foundation, Luiz Augusto Maltoni, it is necessary to have reliable information and strategies to combat cervical cancer, which is a type of cancer that can be prevented and even eliminated from the country.

“We still consider it a neglected cancer. We know the cause, there is a way to avoid it, there is a vaccine at health centers and, even so, we have a high incidence in some regions”, says Maltoni. “We need to give an answer to this”, he emphasizes.

“Cancer is a curable disease. Cervical cancer in the initial stage is curable. It is a much easier treatment to perform, much more accessible, less painful for the patient and her family. What do we want from this? is to eliminate cervical cancer, and this is possible to do with one generation”, complements Scaff.

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