News Detail
Late-stage diagnosis of cervical cancer rate decreases to 14.8%
10 January 2018

Abu Dhabi – January 10, 2018:  The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of the healthcare sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, announced that the early detection of cervical cancer campaign has succeeded in raising awareness on the importance of regular screenings to detect and prevent cervical cancer. This resulted in a significant decrease in late-stage diagnosis of cervical cancer rate from 30.3% in 2012 to 14.8% in 2015. DoH also announced that the vaccination against cervical cancer, which is currently being administered through schools across the Emirate, has seen a high participation rate of 93%.

DoH strongly recommends that all women between the ages of 15 – 26 get vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) - the cervical cancer-causing virus, and that women who are currently or were previously married undergo the Pap smear test at least once every three to five years.

DoH also stressed the importance of taking the vaccination and conducting early detection tests, which can be booked online through many healthcare facilities in the Emirate through the website  or through the DoH application, available to download from both Google Play and App stores. Both safeguards combined can reduce the risk by as much as 90 percent.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the biggest known cause of cervical cancer. Furthermore, the likelihood of failure to get rid of the HPV and had persistent infection rises with the presence of several risk factors. These include smoking, giving birth at a young age (less than 17 years old), HIV infection and using birth control pills for 5 years or longer. Although cervical cancer does not exhibit any symptoms during its early stages, advanced stages symptoms may include unusual vaginal discharge, abnormal vaginal bleeding and persistent leg or pelvic pain.

Dr. Omniyat Al Hajeri, Director of Public Health at DoH, said: Cervical cancer is the fourth most prevalent cancer among women in Abu Dhabi according to the 2016 statistics, and HPV is its leading cause. DoH has been working diligently since March 2008 to provide free HPV vaccinations to schoolgirls in grade 11 across the Emirate. Later in 2013, DoH launched a follow-up program for all women between the ages of 18 - 26 who have not previously received the vaccine in addition to launching an early detection of cervical cancer awareness campaign.”

Al Hajeri added: “In alignment with our belief that prevention is better than cure, we strongly urge all women between the ages of 15 - 26 to get the HPV vaccine, and all women between 25 - 65 years of age, currently or previously married, to undergo the Pap Smear test at least once every three to five years, regardless of their HPV status.”

The Cervical Cancer Awareness Campaign is part of DoH’s “Live healthily & simply check” campaign, which is running for six months, from October 2017 to March 2018, in conjunction with the global awareness months dedicated to cancer prevention campaigns. The month of October is dedicated to breast cancer awareness, November to lung cancer awareness, January to cervical cancer awareness and March to colon cancer awareness.


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