What’s Hot, What’s Not - You “nuh watch no face”? neither does Cervical Cancer Print E-mail
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Written by By M&M   
Thursday, 11 July 2013 00:00

You hear the survival stories. You watch the news. You even quickly skip the channel after you hear the word, thinking it’s just well, CANCER.  Almost as if though it is something that can never happen to you. Boy oh boy! It’s time for you to get up and smell the coffee; it is closer to home than you think. Cervical Cancer like any other disease “nuh watch no face”. It does not discriminate, have favoritism or take into consideration how young you are, how much you are loved, much less how much you have accomplished. It simply creeps up on you like a wild cat in want of its long awaited prey.


Yes, my warning goes out to all women, but for you men that feel that since you don’t have a cervix you can wipe this disease clean from your forehead, REWIND! This is also as important to you as it is to the lady.  Just for a second, think about all the important women in your life; your grandmother, mother, aunt, wife, and sister. Think now how you would feel if one of them became suddenly ill and diagnosed with full blown cancer. Think how things would have been different if you or anyone would have encouraged her to take a test and ensured that she was safe. Think you are too young for this disease? Well think again, mama! According to the studies performed in Belize from 2007-2011, there were a total of 857 deaths related to cancer, 421 females and 436 males. FROM THE 421 CANCER VICTIMS, 418 WERE OF AGES 65 AND YOUNGER, 95 DIED AS A RSULT OF CERVICAL CANCER and 51 as a Result of breast cancer.  The studies showed that THE TEENS, THE YOUNG WOMEN AND THE PRIME AGED WOMEN ARE BEING AFFECTED MOSTLY BY THIS DISEASE. Also, these deaths could have been avoided by pap smear testing to determine cancerous cells. CANCER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATH OF APPROXIMATELY 31,000 WOMEN IN THE CARIBBEAN AND LATIN AMERICA A YEAR. In Belize, according to theWorld Health Organization, studies show that 10% of the deaths annually are related to cancer.The major cause of this now increasing disease is that women that have it become aware of it until it is too late.


The answer is quite simple.  They do not regularly test for the disease. According to Joan Burke, Executive Director of the Belize Family Life Association, Belize has only 20% or less than 20% of persons that should access a pap smear accessing the service. Burke also stated that the Caribbean reports 50% of the women with full blown cervical cancer are the women who had never had a pap smear screen before. Belize is not an exception to the Caribbean’s findings.  Belize in comparison to the other Caribbean countries, however, has the highest percentage of cervical cancer survivors. In other words the women that become aware of the disease early enough can be cured.


Dr. Alba Mendez Sosa, Obstetrician and Gynecologist,stated that most women feel:

1. Uncomfortable with the procedure and simply preferred not knowing.
The almost painless procedure requires the women to lay flat and open her legs for about two minutes for the doctor to examine her cervix. There is nothing painful about the procedure. Prevention is better than cure and a cure is better than death. If you are ashamed of seeing a male doctor, then ask for a female doctor. Young women who are ashamed, embarrassed of explaining to an adult that you are sexually active. This is not the time to be.  The health organizations are not here to judge you. They are present to help you be safe. Your life depends on you taking responsibility for your actions and your life and doing what is best for you.

My message also goes out to the young men who have girlfriends. Do not be selfish and let the life of your girlfriend rest solely in your hands advise her to get checked up regularly.   Young women who are not sexually active but are ages 20 and older are also advised to get checked up.  We owe good health to ourselves. We need to make time from our busy schedules and make time for our health; without it we cannot work. We cannot live. Better a little embarrassment and life, than death.

2. Another theory is that the examination performed costs too much.

If it is the cost, all government facilities offer the service with a minimum charge if done under the National Health Insurance (NHI). Presently, the Belize Cancer Society is advocating for all necessary examinations to be offered free of cost. But even so, ladies we need to take advantage of what we are offered. In any case if money is the issue for not testing, I am almost sure that Government clinics would still conduct the pap smear testing on you. In rural areas, there is another option for cancer cell testing other than the lab testing pap smear. There is the vinegar test that can be conducted at no cost. It simply requires the doctor to insert a vinegar soaked cotton swab into a woman’s vagina and depending on the color of the swab and cervix the status can be determined.  Regardless of your case, there is no excuse for not testing for cervical cancer. Belize has high end medical technology and professionals to screen for the cancer. You are in safe hands and with the implementation of new health policies, we will see a future with a wider availability of medical resources.

Additionally other women feel that:

In all honesty, if it is a hassle, well, it is a hassle worth dealing with, HELLO!!! It’s your life we are talking about not a bag of chips.  Act ASAP(as soon as possible)  pay the priceless visit to your doctor.  LADIES REGULAR TESTING IS PART OF THE SEX PACKAGE! It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to make sure that you are in good health. While testing for cervical cancer, you can even take advantage and check for breast cancer and STD’s.

Ladies, value your life.  A day taken out of your life in a line is worth more days suffering pain that eventually lead death. No one wants to die.

Is there…..HOPE!!!

Praise the Lord there is always hope. I hope you understand the importance of the testing.  I hope you encourage women to do it. NO EXCUSES! If there is a will, there is a way. Our health services have increased. Organizations such as the Belize Cancer Society and the Government of Belize are creating strong bonds to decrease the cost of vaccinations that are needed so desperately. EARLY DETECTION CAN CURE. The cancer can be stopped while at its root. So ladies, no more excuses! Walk yourself to your nearest clinic put on your brave wear and open up to healthy living.

I wish the best of health for you and all your generations to come.
Long live LIFE. Long live WOMEN!