Fighting cervical cancer together

HPV: Why you should get tested

15 January 2021 | Health

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract. Most sexually active women and men will be infected at some point in their lives and some may be repeatedly infected.
HPV is sexually transmitted, but penetrative sex is not required for transmission. Skin-to-skin genital contact is a well-recognized mode of transmission.
HPV infections usually clear up without any intervention within a few months after acquisition.
A small proportion of infections with certain types of HPV (HPV 16 & HPV 18 most commonly) can persist and progress to cervical cancer, especially with recurring infection and suppressed immune system (HIV+ individuals).
Cervical cancer is by far the most common HPV-related disease. Nearly all cases of cervical cancer can be attributable to HPV infection.
The infection with certain HPV types also causes a proportion of cancers of the anus, vulva, vagina, penis and oropharynx, which are preventable using similar primary prevention strategies as those for cervical cancer.

Why test?
Cervical cancer screening involves testing for pre-cancer and cancer among women who have no symptoms and may feel perfectly healthy.
Traditionally a “Pap smear” or “Pap test” was conducted (most commonly known to women in Namibia), however advances in screening today allows for women with access to alternative screening methods as mentioned below.
When screening detects pre-cancerous lesions, these can easily be treated and cancer can be avoided. Screening can also detect cancer at an early stage and treatment has a high potential for cure.
Because pre-cancerous lesions take many years to develop, screening is recommended for every sexually active woman from age 25 and regularly afterwards (frequency depends on the screening test used).
For women living with HIV who are sexually active, screening should be done earlier, as soon as they know their HIV status. Screening has to be linked to access to treatment and management of positive screening tests. Screening without proper management is not ethical.

Screening types
There are three different types of screening tests that are currently recommended by WHO and are available in Namibia:
1. HPV testing for high-risk HPV types is a bit more costly and primarily used with medical aid and private clients;
2. Visual inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) that is now primarily conducted by the Ministry of Health and Social Services in lower income settings;
3. Conventional (Pap) test and liquid-based cytology (LBC) are commonly still used in the wider setting (also with CAN).
Results and further treatment (if necessary) will be guided by the Cancer Association of Namibia’s medical team once results are given (or by your regular preferred medical service provider).

Warning signs
• Blood spots or light bleeding between or following a period.
• Menstrual bleeding that is longer and heavier than usual.
• Bleeding after intercourse, douching, or a pelvic examination.
• Increased vaginal discharge.
• Pain during sexual intercourse.
• Bleeding after menopause.
• Unexplained, persistent pelvic and/or back pain.

Where can I go for screening?
Visit your nearest Ministry of Health and Social Service clinic or health centre for screening or advisory where to go, or contact the Cancer Association of Namibia to visit their regular clinics or be part of the National Cancer Outreach Programme of CAN when they visit your town or region once a year.
See your private doctor (GP) or gynaecologist for a screening or referral.
Remember that cervical cancer is one of the most preventable, treatable and most curable cancer forms if detected early. Let’s take stance in 2021 and save Namibian women from this disease!

Similar News


Hope for hospital beds

2 days ago - 03 March 2021 | Health

Repairs on 52 Stiegmeyer beds at the Intermediate Hospital in Katutura commenced last week, made possible thanks to a donation of N$357 400 towards spare...

Drive-through test facility now open

4 days ago - 01 March 2021 | Health

Windhoek • [email protected] Laboratories has set up a drive-through test facility for Covid-19 at the Wanderers Sports Club in Pioneerspark in the capital.The facility is...

Boost for Hep E

1 week ago - 23 February 2021 | Health

The health ministry received a donation of Hepatitis E and Hepatitis A virus testing supplies from the government of Japan to help intensify the ministry’s...

Pandemic curbs hepatitis-E

1 week ago - 23 February 2021 | Health

Windhoek • [email protected] years after a hepatitis-E outbreak was declared in Namibia that has killed dozens of people, the response to the Covid-19 pandemic has...

Local hand sanitiser businesses cry foul

2 weeks ago - 18 February 2021 | Health

Windhoek • [email protected] hand sanitiser manufacturers have raised concert that the local industry is being crippled by compliance to stringent and costly standards along with...

Period poverty cripples future of Namibian girls

2 weeks ago - 17 February 2021 | Health

Windhoek • [email protected] onset of menstruation for many Namibian teens poses a threat to their health, education, development and success later in life as they...

SA u-turn on Ivermectin brings local hope

1 month - 29 January 2021 | Health

Windhoek • [email protected] South African medicines regulatory body’s announcement on Wednesday that it will permit limited compassionate and controlled use of Ivermectin to treat Covid-19...

Potential Covid-19 drug under the microscope

1 month - 28 January 2021 | Health

Windhoek • [email protected] local production of an anti-parasitic drug hailed as a potential game changing therapy for Covid-19 has been abruptly halted in Namibia in...

Get your negative results via SMS

1 month - 20 January 2021 | Health

The health ministry announced that negative Coronavirus Covid-19 test results from the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP) would now be communicated to clients via SMS....

Convenient and cost-effective HIV care

1 month - 19 January 2021 | Health

January is often a time when people review their budgets, both personally and professionally. For government bodies, the financial year is drawing to a close,...

Latest News

Driving innovation

3 hours ago | Education

Applications are open for Falling Walls Lab Namibia, for which talented students, early career professionals, entrepreneurs and academics from all disciplines are invited to apply...

Security company sued for shooting...

4 hours ago | Justice

Windhoek • [email protected] High Court judge this week gave the greenlight for a lawsuit to continue in which two shooting victims are suing Shilimela Security...

Chill with Windhoek Express

20 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

Recurring events• 07:00 Bio-Markt / Green Market at the Stephanus Church (Dr Kenneth Kaunda Street) in Windhoek until 12:00.• 08:30 The weekly Inspire Market features...

Shoozi wins first round in...

1 day - 04 March 2021 | Sports

The first tournament in Nedbank for Autism Series 2021 took place at the Omeya Golf Club recently, with excited spectators who got to witness golf...

Marketing your home in the...

1 day - 04 March 2021 | Life Style

The ongoing threat of Covid-19 means that our lives have become increasingly digital. Now more than ever, sellers will need to ensure that their listing...

Win with Agribank’s selfie competition!

1 day - 04 March 2021 | Society

Hileni Namwandi (26) of Omuntele in the Oshikoto region won a N$10 000 voucher in Agribank’s first round of their women and youth loan scheme...

Expand our school, Dordabis parents...

1 day - 04 March 2021 | Education

Parents at Dordabis are calling for the expansion of the local school to beyond grade 7 level to make education more accessible for children at...

Sioka in hot water over...

1 day - 04 March 2021 | Youth

Windhoek • [email protected] clock is ticking for child welfare minister Doreen Sioka who has less than a month left to present a detailed action plan...

Youth discuss youthful matters

1 day - 04 March 2021 | Events

After conducting a pre-week engagement to gauge challenges facing the youth of the Mix Informal Settlement, the #BeFree Movement hosted its Battle of the Sexes...

Load More