posted on 03/14/2022 14:20
Reinforced by International Women’s Day (8/3), the March Lilac campaign reinforces awareness of the prevention of cervical cancer. The infection is transmitted by any sexual act and is not restricted to genital contact. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the agent responsible for the possible evils of cancer.
As it is a cancer that mainly affects women, the prevention campaign is aimed at the female audience. An estimate made by the National Cancer Institute (INCA) pointed out that, between 2020 and 2022, more than 16,000 cases are predicted for every 100,000 women in Brazil. Of this total, 260 out of every 100,000 cases are projected to the Federal District, which has the eighth highest incidence in the country.
As a way of preventing this type of cancer in adulthood, a Pap smear is recommended, starting at age 25. The exam should be carried out periodically, even by those who are immunized. In addition to preventing cancer, the exam allows for early diagnosis of the disease, which is curable in most cases.
The recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) is that immunization to the HPV virus occurs for people between nine and 13 years old. Vaccination has been on the Ministry of Health’s vaccination schedule since 2014. In 2017, there was an increase in vaccination from 9 to 14 years old for girls and from 11 to 14 years old for boys.
Cervical cancer is the leading cause of death among women in Latin America, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), a body linked to the WHO. The disease kills, on average, more than 35,000 women a year in the Americas, with only one in five cases outside Latin American countries. Topics such as income inequalities, gender and access to health services directly affect statistics.
The organization also predicts that, if the incidence of the disease continues, by 2030 it will kill more than 50,000 women a year, with nine out of ten deaths being recorded in Latin American countries.
*Intern under the supervision of Nahima Maciel