President, Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Dr. Valerie Obot, has said that early sex and other unhealthy sexual habits make women prone to having cervical cancer.
She said this in Uyo on Monday during a press conference to herald the 2013 National Cancer Month by the MWAN.
She said, “A woman’s sexual habit predisposes her to cervical cancer. Those who have been initiated into early sex are more likely to develop cervical cancer.”
She noted that regular cervical screening could also help in preventing the disease.
She disclosed that key risk factors such as obesity, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol misuse could also make women susceptible to cancer.
She added that chronic viral infections such as Hepatitis B and C viruses, as well as Human Papiloma Virus infection account for 20 per cent of cancerous deaths in developing countries.
The MWAN president said that 30 per cent of cancer deaths could be prevented by avoiding the key risk factors.
She appealed to government and well meaning Nigerians to help establish cancer diagnostic and treatment centres in the six geopolitical zones of the country, equipped with functional oncology units.
“We recommend that nurses and other middle cadre health workers, including community health workers, be taught about the current methods for early detection and screening for breast and cervical cancers, with the aid of new technologies,” she said.