Sexually active women urged to go for cervical cancer screening
Dr. Mrs. Olivia Tsalach, a general practitioner at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (GARH) has encouraged young women who are sexually active to go for cervical cancer screening to help save their lives.

Date Created : 1/20/2023 12:00:00 AM : Story Author : Theresa Workartey /

In an interview with ghanadistricts TV on the program Health Titbits, Dr. Tsalach said cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix which is caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted virus. She said people who have higher risk are the ones who have multiple sexual partners and have unprotected sex, people who start having sex before the age 18, prolong use of oral contraceptives, smoking, among others.

Dr. Tsalach indicated that, women with cervical cancer can have symptoms such as bleeding after sex, vaginal discomfort and if the disease is advanced one can have different symptoms such as very offensive odor in their discharge and blood in the urine. She explained that not all vaginal discharge is caused by cervical cancer and that some vaginal discharge may be as a result of an infection.

She further stated that one can lower the risk of developing cervical cancer by avoiding unprotected sex, avoiding multiple sexual partners and also avoiding a partner who has multiple sexual partners. She added that, sexually active women should get HPV vaccination because once they get vaccinated they will be able to fight against the development of cervical cancer. She recommended that women between the ages of 21-40 years must have a pap smear (cervical cancer screening) in every three years.

“Women who have strong immunity can take between 15-20 years to develop cervical cancer and women  who have weak immune system such  as  a woman with HIV can take between 5-10 years for the cancer to develop” she noted.

Dr. Tsalach added that “anytime you see any form of vaginal discharge you are not sure of, see your doctor or get tested because cervical cancer is treatable in the early stages”.