Davao City logs 88 cervical cancer deaths in 2023

With 63 women diagnosed with the disease in the same year
Davao City logs 88 cervical cancer deaths in 2023
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AN OFFICIAL from the City Health Office (CHO)-Technical Division said that they logged around 88 deaths caused by cervical cancer in Davao City in 2023. 

Dr. Julinda Acosta, chief of the City Health Office (CHO)-Technical Division, said during the ISpeak media forum on Thursday morning, May 2, 2024, at the City Mayor’s Office, that they recorded 88 deaths due to cervical cancer for the year 2023 and 13 deaths in the first quarter of 2024. She added that for cervical cancer morbidity, they logged 63 women for the year 2023 and 10 women for the first quarter of this year. 

“In Davao City alone, last year, ang death due to cervical cancer, we had 88 women. And for the first quarter of 2024, trese na ang namatay and, morbidity last year, we had 63 nga nagkasakit og cervical cancer and for this first quarter of 2024, napulo ang naay sakit nga cervical cancer (In Davao City alone, last year, 88 women died due to cervical cancer and for the first quarter of 2024, 13 [women] died. And, for morbidity, we had 63 women diagnosed with cervical cancer last year, and for this first quarter of 2024, there are 10 women,)” she said. 

Acosta stressed that more than 90 percent of the cause of cervical cancer is the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) making it the leading cause of this illness. It is a common virus that can be passed from one person to another during sex. 

This May 9, a cervical cancer screening initiated by the Department of Health (DOH) in partnership with the CHO will be conducted at the Almendras Gymnasium in Quimpo Boulevard, Davao City. Women can avail of the three services for free, which are the Visual Inspection using Acetic Acid, an alternative to a pap smear for 30 to 65 years old; HPV vaccination for young girls aged nine-14 years old, whether private or public schoolers, or out-of-school children, and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) screening test.

Acosta emphasized that prevention through HPV vaccination works best for young girls who are not yet exposed to any sexual activity. She explained that cervical cancer will develop after 15 to 20 years of having an HPV infection.

“Although, most of the HPV infection will just go away even without treatment. But, some of these will progress into genital warts and also cervical cancer,” she said.

She stressed that the HPV vaccination for young girls does not promote early sexual intercourse; instead, it will serve as a mitigating measure for young adolescents. She added that parental permission for this vaccination is needed since minors are involved. 

“Best gyud na sugdan nato ang vaccination sa katong mga bata nga nine-14 years old. Tanggalin natin yung mga misconception na we’ll be promoting early sexual activity because ginaprotektahan nato sila, (It’s best to have the vaccination for those children [girls] aged nine-14 years old. Let’s avoid the misconception that the vaccination is promoting early sexual activity,)” she said. 

Acosta said that HPV infection can also affect males. It can cause genital warts as well as several cancers in both men and women, including anal, cervical, penile, vaginal and vulvar. She highlighted that having an HPV infection with an unhealthy lifestyle can worsen it. A healthy lifestyle, such as exercising, not smoking, being faithful to one’s partner, and delaying sex, can prevent infection and the development of cervical cancer. Almer Kaye Aguadera, DNSC Intern

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