Mrs Priscilla Aondona, a Medical Micro-biologist working with National Biotechnology Development Agency, says long intake of oral contraceptives can lead to cervical cancer.
Aondona of the Department of Medical Biology told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja that women on oral contraceptive for a long time have high chance of having cervical cancer.
“When you take pills for more than five years, it is very dangerous and harmful to the health of a woman, and when the immune system comes in contact with cervix it persists and leads to cervical cancer.
“What a woman needs to do is to go for regular screening and there are so many screening methods in this country which are cheap, you have the VIA (Visual Inspection using ascetic Acid).
“Use five per cent vinega, rub in the cervix and note your results. Another screening method is the Papsmear.
“The papsmear is a process where you scrap cervical scrapings from the cervix and then you look at the morphology of the cell to know if they are abnormal then you know that these are precancerous signs,’’ Aondona said.
On other causes of cancer, the scientist said that the Human Papiloma Virus, commonly known as HPV, is one of the commonest causes of cervical cancer.
According to her, a lot of cervical cancer, anal cancer, penal cancer, had been linked to HPV infection. So the persistence of this infection is what leads to cervical cancer.
“Cervical cancer has been tagged as the second most popular cancer in the world in women aside the breast cancer.
“A lot of people ignore it because it asymptomatic; asymptomatic in the sense that it does not have symptoms, but over time it has been recorded that it is a silent killer in women.
“That is why a lot of research was focused in this area in order to know what we need to do and how we need to go about it and also seek ways to curtail the rate at which women are dying of cervical cancer.’’
She added that it is transmitted mostly through sex with men being tagged the reservoir just as women are carriers in the case of gonorrhoea; it has more effect in the men than in the women.
“For HPV the men are the carriers but it has more effect in the women than in the men because it attacks the cervix.’’
She therefore called for greater awareness and sensitisation on the part of government and public spirited individuals to enlighten women on the disease.