Ovarian, Cervical Cancer Prevalence Rising

Currently, an estimated 10% of Iranian women are affected by the virus.Currently, an estimated 10% of Iranian women are affected by the virus.

Research suggests that ovarian cancer is the most common cause of cancer death among Iranian women, president of the Iranian Society of Gynecologic Oncology, Dr. Azam Sadat Mousavi, said.

“Moreover, the incidents of cervical cancer are on the rise among Iranian women,” ILNA quoted her as saying.

According to the expert, cervical cancer is currently the second most common cancer among Iranian women, after breast cancer. Uterine and ovarian cancers are the third and fourth prevalent types respectively.

“Based on studies conducted by the National Association of Iranian Obstetricians and Gynecologists, prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection --the virus responsible for most cases of cervical cancer-- has increased in recent years,” she said.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. Left untreated, some types of this virus are capable of growing into cancer cells.

According to Mousavi, currently, an estimated 10% of Iranian women are affected by the virus. Calling the figure “alarming,” she said, “If the infection is not diagnosed and treated at an early stage, cervical cancer prevalence will increase further.”

Cervical cancer can often be successfully treated if detected early. It can be usually found at a very early stage through a Pap smear test—the test looks for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells on the cervix.

“Vaccination is the best way to decrease the risk of HPV infection,” the expert said.  Based on WHO guidelines for the prevention and control of cervical cancer, all nine to 13-year-old girls and all boys above the age of 16 should receive HPV vaccine to prevent infection with the human papillomavirus.

“However, this expensive vaccine is currently not included in Iran’s national vaccination program as it is in many other countries,” she noted.

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