The Dominica Cancer Society in collaboration with a few retired nurse practitioners, will engage in a Cervical Cancer Screening event at the Roseau Health Centre.
The screening will take place on Saturday 23rd of January and Saturday 30th January, 2021 from 10 am.
Women are being encouraged to take advantage of these two days and get screened.
“We have also collaborated with some retired nurses, who have in the past, provided cervical cancer screening and they’re willing to do screening [free of course] for members of the public who will take advantage of the opportunity,” President of the Dominica Cancer Society, Yvonne Alexander informed Dominica Vibes.
She said, “We have two days of screening scheduled for Saturday coming, this Saturday, and the last Saturday in January at the Roseau Health Center from 10 am. We’re asking individuals to call the office of the Dominica Cancer Society to schedule an appointment. This is what we’re doing as our own opportunity to try to encourage cervical cancer screening.”
The month of January has been marked globally as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
Alexander says the society continues to express concern as many women are still being diagnosed with late-stage cervical cancer.
Research shows that in 2020, an estimated 604,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer worldwide and about 342,000 women died from the disease.
“From a simple pap smear, somebody can be screened very early,” Alexander noted. “If there is a possibility of cervical cancer, it can be treated and the person can survive, she added.
The DCS President further informed, “We are very concerned that many women do not make a conscious decision to have a pap smear done, and sometimes they often need a gentle reminder so to speak. So January is the month where we are reminding women of the importance of having a pap smear done every year as long as they are sexually active.”
Alexander says women can also do pap smears even if they’re not sexually active to ensure there are no cancerous cells lurking in the cervix. She therefore encouraged more women to be screened.
“We think that the fact that some people are being diagnosed late-stage cervical cancer means that women are not getting their pap smears done frequently enough. We know it’s an intimate investigation and some people are uncomfortable with it but I want to just remind women of the fact that having cervical cancer is so much more painful, economically, emotionally, psychologically, and physically than just having a pap smear done once a year,” she explained.
“So, just be proactive and have a pap smear done, unless something abnormal has been observed and you have been asked to repeat the pap smear within 6 months, it’s really once a year.”
In accordance with the Dominica Cancer Society, “Early Intervention Saves Lives” which was also re-echoed by the President.
“There is no reason for any woman has to be diagnosed with late-stage cervical cancer and sometimes to die as a result of having cervical cancer. So this is what we are trying to stem, the tide of women being diagnosed with late-stage cervical cancer so that it spreads to other internal organs and the fact that a pap smear can save a woman’s life. Early intervention saves lives.”