Currently cervical cancer accounts for 10% of all cancers worldwide, ranking as the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world. According to Prof. F. Xavier Bosch from the Cancer Epidemiology and Research Program at the Catalan Institute of Oncology in Barcelona, the idea that the MENA region is at low risk from gynaecological cancers caused by sexually transmitted viruses is no longer true. Recent studies that allow for direct comparison of cervical cancer rates according to geography indicate that the MENA region remains just as much at risk as the rest of the world.
“Cervical cancer is almost always caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV),” says Prof. Bosch, who was speaking during the 3rd Obs-Gyne Exhibition and Congress, held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from 3 – 5 April 2011. “Affecting up to 85% of women worldwide, left untreated HPV can create pre-cancerous lesions on the cervix which can in turn lead to cervical cancer, making regular screening and vaccination a must for women of all ages and backgrounds.”
“Up until now, the MENA region has enjoyed a relatively low projection of cervical cancer but with projections indicating a significant increase in cervical cancer rates in the years to come, the right time for preventative medicine is now. Generalised HPV vaccinations coupled with some form of secondary screening goes a long way towards prevention.”
This year, gynaecologists and obstetricians benefitted by the combining of the Arab Association of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Societies’ (AAOGS) annual meeting with the Obs-Gyne Congress, creating the largest ever gathering of obstetricians and gynaecologists the Middle East Region has seen, drawing more than 55 regional and international experts from around the world to the UAE for the first time.
[Note from SaneVax: The largest gathering ever of OB/GYN specialists has just been told half of the story by a professor claiming to be an expert – no mention was made of the fact that 90% of HPV infections clear on their own with no clinical symptoms – and that only 10% of the remaining infections will ever progress to cervical cancer. The SaneVax team sincerely hopes the specialists attending this conference do their own research – their patients need them to know ‘the rest of the story’.]
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