Have You Been Vaccinated Against Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer occurs when abnormal cells on the cervix grow out of control. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. Cervical cancer can often be successfully treated when it's found early. It is usually found at a very early stage through a Pap test.Most cervical cancer is caused by a virus called human papillomavirus, or HPV.
You can get HPV by having s.xual contact with someone who has it. There are many types of the HPV virus. Not all types of HPV cause cervical cancer. Some of them cause genital warts, but other types may not cause any symptoms.
“Cancer of the cervix is highly preventable. Use of HPV vaccine is just an aspect of the primary prevention methods for this cancer,” said Dr Tosin Awolude, a consultant obstetric and gynaecologist, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Oyo State.
HPV vaccination is recommended for both male and female, and women irrespective of their age can get vaccinated against the virus that causes cancer. HPV accounts for about 80 per cent of cervical cancer cases and can cause cancers of the penis in men as well. HPV can also cause cancers of the mouth, throat and anus in both men and women.
HPV infection is spread through s.xual contact or skin-to-skin contact. Its infection is very common. And so, the higher the number of s.xual partners one has, the more the likelihood of contracting more types of HPV and developing cancer as a result.
For maximum benefits, Dr Awolude said the HPV vaccination is recommended for girls that have never had s.xual intercourse.
According to him, “in Nigeria, it is recommended for girls between the ages of nine and 14 years. “It is to be given before their first s.xual intercourse because the vaccine does not cure the virus; it only prevents its acquisition.”
Two vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, are available. These vaccines can prevent most cases of cervical cancer, if they’re exposed to the virus, which is when it works best. In addition, these vaccines can prevent vaginal and vulvar cancer in women, while Gardasil can prevent genital warts and anal cancer in women and men.
Girls between ages nine and 14 need to take two doses of the vaccine and those above 15, including women of child bearing ages, are required to take three doses.
According to Dr Awolude, “these vaccines are safe and effective. Aside common reactions people may experience with injections, such as pain at the injection point, adverse reactions to the vaccine are very rare.”
Research has shown that response to the vaccine is better at younger ages than it is at older ages. Dr Awolude added that abstinence from s.x and keeping to one s.xual partner were also important in preventing contracting HPV, and thus some cancers.
“Abstinence from s.x, especially when the girl is below 18 years, is also preventive. Their genital tract is still developing and as such it can easily be infected by any organism, including HPV.
“In addition, those who are s.xually active need to keep to one partner because HPV, the organism that causes the cancer, is s.xually transmitted majorly. The more the number of s.xual partners, the higher the risk of getting exposed to many more strains of the virus and as such the higher the risk of developing cancer.”
In women that are s.xually active, Dr Awolude said that regularly screening for the virus or looking for signs of its infection.
See below list of screening centers:
3 Adeniran Ogunsanya Str Beside FedEX
Suite 013 Clinic Floor Law School Hostel Complex.
Adeola Hopewell Street VI Lagos.
Optimal Cancer Care
118 Bode Thomas Street Surulere, Lagos
VIA N2000 (Monday to Thursday). .Free on Friday
HPV Vaccination .(10% off when you mention Exquisite Magazine)
The Specialist Laboratories
6, Sodipo St Off Mabo Street
0805 329 4661
Pap Test: N7000
HPV DNA Testing: N20000
Pap Test & HPV DNA Testing (Combined):N25000
50 Ogunlana Drive Surulere, Lagos
Well Woman Clinic
2nd Floor Surgical Outpatient
Lagos University Teaching Hospital
Idi-Araba, Surulere, Lagos
Clinic Hours: 9am-1pm
46 Oduduwa Crescent GRA Ikeja Lagos
88B Opebi Road
0808 035 0808
1 Ikorodu Road Maryland Lagos (behind Mobil Filling Station) 08187151810
Festac Town, Lagos
01 291 8304
Niyi Okunubi Street, Lekki Phase One (Opposite Mainstreet Bank) Lekki, Lagos.
Pap Test N8600
Health Kinect Clinic
1st Floor, Beulah Land Plaza
Lekki Expressway Lekki
Suite A3/A4,Tswanya Centre,
2, Librevile Street,Off Aminu Kano Crescent,
VIA (Free this month)
Pap Test (N5000 this month)
HPV Vaccination (N7000 per dose this month)
21, Otukpo Street
Off Onitsha Crescent
Block 1 plot 4, Ibadan Municipal Government, off Adeoyo State hospital Ring Road
5, Awosika Avenue, Old Bodija
4, Katsina Road,
by Independence Way
8, Post Office Road (Opposite MoH)
Hugo Health Systems
82 Peter Odili Road
Pap Test: N12000
HPV Vaccination: N14000 per dose
41 Evo Road GRA, Phase II
Opposite Federal Medical Center
Aba – Oweri Road
Pap Test: N8400
1. Central Hospital
2. University of Benin Teaching Hospital
Penny Mart Estate
272/273 Nnebisi Road
Opp. First Bank, Beside FCMB
Abia State University Teaching Hospital
Ahiaba Umeze Road, Aba
Meena Histopathology Lab
Close to Christian Pilgrims & Hospital Management board
Abdulkareem Adisa GRA
Pap Test: N3500
GEN. HOSP. LAFIAGI
OKESUNA HEALTH CENTRE
Contact: 08065538440 .
IPERU (Near Babcock Uni) OGUN STATE
KAAF Building. Iperu.
Free every 3rd week of the month. Thurs – Sat 08132354647