Serving the female segment, promoting debates and public policies that contribute to the quality of life and health of women have been at the center of the concerns of the Legislative Assembly of Roraima (ALE-RR). Important laws were created throughout the year and guarantee fundamental rights, particularly in the field of health. Proof of this is Law No. 1379/2020, which grants women the right to be absent, renounce or release from their activities, by their employer or the competent authority, to carry out preventive examinations to combat breast and cervical cancer.
The author of the regulation, MP Neto Loureiro (PMB), assured in the justification of the bill that the initiative will boost primary care for the prevention of serious diseases, such as cancer.
“This law aims to guarantee all women the right to be exempted from a preventive examination, without any form of prejudice for them. In this sense, it is of paramount importance that the State promotes policies that encourage, directly and indirectly, the prevention and fight against this disease that afflicts thousands of Brazilian women every year,” he explained. .
The law reinforces the Lilac March campaign, in reference to International Women’s Day, dedicated to the prevention and fight against cervical cancer, one of the leading causes of death among women worldwide . Estimates from the National Cancer Institute (Inca) indicate that in 2020, 16,710 new cases were known and the number of deaths reached 6,596 in 2019, according to data from the Cancer Mortality Atlas – SIM.
Law No. 192 of 1998, drafted by former MPs Célio Wanderley, Rosa Rodrigues and Zenilda Portella, guarantees disadvantaged women free cancer prevention examinations and ensures that they undergo examinations, several of which are available in the public health network, such as the Women’s Reference Center, attached to the State Department of Health (Sesau).
Secretariat data shows that 59 patients were cared for in 2019, 54 in 2020, 41 in 2021 and 4 until February this year, at the high complexity oncology unit in Roraima (Unacon), which is made up of a team of nearly 80 professionals and offers 31 exclusive services to people with cancer, in addition to a support group for patients and their families. The center serves women in the capital and in the countryside.
“We worked on prevention. We know that the main means of prevention go through gynecological prevention and vaccination. Here we receive patients who present with high-grade alterations of lesions that are already precursors to cervical cancer and take them for examinations and treatments. Many of them are cured,” said Gleiriene Ribeiro, cervical pathologist at the Women’s Reference Center.
According to the specialist, the symptoms of cervical cancer or cervical cancer are usually asymptomatic and evolve over the years. Bleeding and a feeling of tumor in the genital area when perceived can be signs of the disease. “When they [sintomas] appear, they are already at a more advanced stage and that is why annual preventive examinations are important,” he added.
Legislation guarantees women’s rights
Another relevant law created by the ALE-RR is 1514/2021, which guarantees women the right to be accompanied by trusted persons during gynecological examinations. The author of the law, the deputy Betânia Almeida (PV), underlined at the time of the approval of the case that the rule prevents acts of sexual abuse.
“This law guarantees the sexual dignity of these women and prevents the practice of sexual crimes. Approval is of paramount importance,” he noted.
The provision of the law guarantees the companion in any health unit of the state, including clinics, offices and public and private hospitals. Failure to comply with the law results in a fine of between 1,000 and 10,000 Reference Tax Units.
The third month of the year is important for women, not only because of International Women’s Day and all that the date represents, but also because it is Cancer Prevention Alert Month. of the cervix. The alert is part of the March of the Lilacs, a campaign that aims to raise women’s awareness of the prevention and risks of this disease.
The event draws the attention of the female public to the disease and encourages examinations and tests that can identify it, especially at an early stage, and help to understand the main symptoms of the disease and how it occurs, since this type of cancer is linked to a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), HPV. The vaccine is the main tool for preventing the virus, available free of charge in the SUS (Unified Health System) for boys and girls aged 9 to 14.
Cervical cancer: how does it arise?
This type of cancer appears as a result of infection with the human papilloma virus, HPV. Characterized as an STI, HPV infects the skin or mucous membranes of patients’ private parts, causing warts and, in more severe cases, cervical cancer.
This is because the virus has oncogenic subtypes. In other words, you are more likely to develop cancer. Thus, these subtypes are responsible for 70% of cervical cancers. The main symptoms are pain in the lower abdomen; lower extremity edema; vaginal bleeding, very common after intercourse and discharge with odor and yellowish color.
The Pap test is the main form of prevention, and it is also possible to detect the disease, with a biopsy, pelvic exams and colposcopy. The most common treatment is the removal of cancer cells, however, depending on the severity of the case, it may be necessary to undergo radiotherapy or chemotherapy, or in a more advanced stage of cancer, removal of the cervix uterus or upper vagina.
Text: Katia Bezerra
Photo: Marley Lima/Tiago Orihuela