Cervical cancer on the rise in north of Saint Lucia says awareness organization

(SNO) — An organization, which is committed to raising awareness on cervical cancer, has said it has seen a rise in the disease in some parts of Saint Lucia.

Faces of Cancer St. Lucia said the rise in cases has been noticed in the north of the island.

“The Month of January is dedicated to raising awareness for cervical cancer,” the organization said in its latest newsletter. “During the past few years we have seen a rise in the amount of cervical cancer cases especially in the north of Saint Lucia.”

The organization said in the newsletter that cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix (the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina).

“Various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing most cervical cancer,” the newsletter explained. “The body’s immune system typically prevents the virus from doing harm, but in a small percentage of people, the virus survives for years, contributing to the process that causes some cervical cells to become cancer cells.”

It pointed out that when cervical cancer is in its early stage a woman may have no symptoms because it can stay “hidden.”

“Therefore it is important to start your screening as early as age 21, and be consistent in getting it done as per your doctor’s recommendation,” the newsletter said.

Symptoms of the disease they may include:
A. Pain or bleeding during or after sex, douching, or a pelvic examination
B. Pelvic pain
C. Unusual vaginal discharge
D. Blood or bleeding beyond your normal menstrual period

“Since other conditions can cause these symptoms as well, it is important to see your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms,” the newsletter stated.

Anyone who wants further information on cervical cancer or any other cancers should visit the office of Faces of Cancer St. Lucia, located at Tapion Reef in Castries.