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Cervical Cancer: A Preventable Tragedy in Venezuela

By BNN Newsroom
Cervical Cancer: A Preventable Tragedy in Venezuela
Cervical Cancer: A Preventable Tragedy in Venezuela

The Silent Killer Among Venezuelan Women

Cervical cancer, often referred to as the “silent killer,” is the second leading cause of cancer death among Venezuelan women, according to Jairo Fuenmayor, President of the Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Venezuela. The disease, which predominantly affects women aged between 35 and 45, is highly preventable, making the statistics all the more tragic. The primary causes of this high incidence and mortality rate include a lack of vaccination and inadequate medical follow-up for women in the country.

Preventability of Cervical Cancer

Fuenmayor highlights that cervical cancer is completely preventable. Regular screening through annual cytology practice and Pap smear tests, coupled with widespread vaccination against the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), can significantly reduce the occurrence of this cancer. Countries that have successfully implemented these measures have almost eradicated the disease.

The Barrier of High Vaccine Costs

However, for many women in Venezuela, the high cost of vaccines is a major barrier to protection against cervical cancer. According to Fuenmayor, the health system should ensure the availability of vaccinations from the age of 12, along with annual gynecological care. However, the country’s current economic and healthcare infrastructure struggles to support such initiatives.

Deficiencies in the Venezuelan Health System

Fuenmayor has criticized the Venezuelan health system for its poor care and lack of suitable laboratories for processing samples. In his view, the country’s hospitals are in a state of disarray, and there is a pressing need for strict sanitary control for women’s gynecological consultations and cytology samples. Such conditions further exacerbate the challenge of addressing the cervical cancer crisis.

Diagnosis and Survival: Early Detection is Key

Cervical cancer, characterized by the presence of a malignant tumor in the lower part of the uterus, can be diagnosed through a Pap smear test. Early diagnosis significantly improves survival rates. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (Iarc), in 2020, cervical cancer was diagnosed in 3,709 women in Venezuela, leading to the death of 2,129. These alarming figures emphasize the importance of early detection and treatment.

Final Thoughts

The crisis of cervical cancer in Venezuela is a poignant reminder of the challenges many countries face in providing adequate healthcare. Despite being a preventable disease, cervical cancer continues to claim the lives of thousands of women every year. The solution lies in improving healthcare infrastructure, ensuring the affordability and accessibility of vaccines, and promoting regular screenings. Until these conditions are met, cervical cancer will continue to be a silent killer among Venezuelan women.

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