KARACHI - Cervical cancer is preventable if there is regular screening and vaccination, said Dr Shirin Zulfiqar Bhutta, Professor and Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.

Speaking at a media awareness programme at a local hotel arranged by a pharmaceutical company, she said, “Out of 100,000 women, every 10 people are the patients of Cervical Cancer that kills women in prime of their lives when they bear major family responsibilities.”

“They may be raising children, caring for their families or contributing to their community. Their death is a personal tragedy and a loss to their family and community.”

She also gave stress on the importance of Pap smear tests and urged healthcare professionals especially those dealing with female health issues to conduct regular screening for their patients. “Vaccination and screening can help prevent cervical cancer up to 94 per cent and a vaccinated woman requires screening every 5 years and a non-vaccinated every 3 years.”

She lamented that due to poor health budget and lack of awareness, common people and women are still unaware of the prevalence and burden of cervical cancer. She stressed on the participants to develop their own understanding of viruses such as the Human Pappiloma Virus (HPV) as they are the leading causes of cervical cancer.