150 Students Attend Cervical Cancer Awareness Seminar at Sharjah College
Over 150 Health Education & Health Science Foundation students at Sharjah College (SWC), part of the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), attended a 2 hour Seminar on cervical cancer prevention. The Seminar was headed by Dr. Rihab Awad, Consultant Gynecologist at The American Hospital Dubai and is part of an Annual World Health Day initiative by students and faculty of the Bachelor Health Education Program at SWC.
“World Health Day is a great opportunity for our students to learn more about the latest health issues in an interactive manner. This year’s theme is ‘Reduce Your Risks’”, says Kim Thompson, Coordinator, Bachelor Health Education Program, Sharjah College. “We try to teach our students that prevention is always better than cure. For example, many cancers are preventable and treatable if found early. We hope to educate our students, the mothers and pioneers of the future, on all the prevention and screening measures available to protect them from such diseases.”
The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a common virus that consists of over 100 strains. Strains 16 and 18, if left untreated, are responsible for 75% of all cervical cancer cases. Strains 6 and 11 are known to cause genital warts. Cervical cancer can develop decades after a woman has been exposed to the human papilloma virus. Worldwide, half a million cases are diagnosed each year with approximately 650 female deaths every day, (nearly 240,000 each year). Gardasil, the vaccine, protects against all four strains of HPV and is hence 100% effective against cervical cancer and 99% against genital warts. Women still need to have regular PAP smears however, even after vaccination.
“In the UAE and also worldwide, cervical cancer is the second highest form of cancer diagnosed among women”, says Dr. Rihab Awad, Consultant Gynecologist, The American Hospital, Dubai. “It is our duty as doctors, health professionals, and mothers to educate women about the risk factors of HPV and cervical cancer prevention. We live in an age where information and knowledge is key to maintaining a healthy and cancer–free lifestyle.”
About HPV Disease
Worldwide, cervical cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in women; approximately 650 women die every day – 240,000 each year – with a half-million diagnoses each year. Worldwide, 630 million people (1 in 10) are infected with HPV, and over 50 percent of sexually active women and men will acquire HPV in their lifetimes. For most people, HPV infection goes away on its own. In some, however, infections resulting from certain high-risk types of HPV, if unrecognized and untreated, can lead to cervical cancer. The virus is also associated with low-grade cervical pre-cancers, abnormal Pap tests and genital warts. It is estimated that 32 million new cases of genital warts occur each year worldwide. Most people who have an HPV infection show no signs or symptoms.
Merck & Co., Inc., which operates in many countries as Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Established in 1891, Merck currently discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and medicines to address unmet medical needs. The Company devotes extensive efforts to increase access to medicines through far-reaching programs that not only donate Merck medicines but help deliver them to the people who need them. Merck also publishes unbiased health information as a not-for-profit service. For more information, visit www.merck.com.