The Mars Lilac campaign aims to raise awareness of disease prevention and control
Attention to women’s intimate health is further enhanced in the third month of the year, during the March lilac campaign. The objective of the action is to raise public awareness of the importance of preventing and combating cancer of the cervix. The earlier the diagnosis of the disease, the greater the chances of recovery.
The National Cancer Institute (Inca) estimates that between 2020 and 2022 more than 16,000 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed in Brazil, with an estimated risk of 15.43 cases per 100,000 women, thus occupying the third position. That is, it is one of the cancers with the highest incidence in the female population.
Cervical cancer, also called cervical cancer, is caused by persistent infection with certain types of human papilloma virus, HPV. It is mainly transmitted sexually. According to infectious disease specialist and director of primary care in Campos, Rodrigo Carneiro, this virus is highly transmissible: “It can cause warts in the vagina, cervix, anus and also on the penis. Plus, cervical cancer.
Last year alone, about 270 women died of cervical cancer in Brazil, an average of 23 women per month, according to Inca data.
“Cervical cancer is a disease that has no symptoms, so we have to be careful. Pap smears should be collected at least once a year. This examination is extremely important for the discovery of possible lesions of the genital organ. And the sooner you know, the better,” explained gynecologist Patrícia Guarino, who also pointed out that the main form of prevention is the use of condoms, which protect against this disease and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Another way to prevent the disease is vaccination against HPV, intended for adolescents. The vaccinating agent, offered by the Ministry of Health, is made available by town halls for girls aged 9 to 14 and boys aged 11 to 14. This vaccine can prevent 70% of cervical cancers and 90% of genital warts. Therefore, it is ideal for children and tweens to be vaccinated before starting their sex life.
The virus can infect and cause disease in both men and women: “We emphasize that genital warts occur in men, but they are often not visible to the naked eye, i.e. they may be imperceptible. Thus, it ends up being a vector of transmission for women, where the disease is potentially more serious, and can even reach cancer of the cervix. So vaccination is also very important for boys, both to protect them from warts and, above all, to protect the women who will have relations with them in the future,” said the infectious disease specialist.
Free public vaccination
In 2021, according to the City Hall of Campos, 7,533 doses were applied, including the complete two- and three-dose regimen, the interval of which is six months. The HPV vaccine is part of the routine schedule for children and adolescents and is available in 15 vaccination rooms of the Basic Family Health Units (UBSF) in the city.
“Uptake of this vaccine is higher than in other years, but even so, attention from parents and guardians is needed. They should be aware that this will protect girls from serious illnesses in the future and boys against genital warts which are also embarrassing. It is not because it is to be vaccinated against a sexually transmitted disease that one should neglect. We must break this prejudice because it is a disease like any other, which has a vaccine and that we must vaccinate”, concluded infectious disease specialist Rodrigo Carneiro.
Adults with certain comorbidities can also be vaccinated
For particular patients, the request is made to the Special Immunobiological Reference Center (CRIE), for women aged 9 to 45 and for men aged 9 to 26, respecting the following indications: people with congenital or acquired immunodeficiency; men and women living with HIV/AIDS; solid organ or hematopoietic stem cell (BMT) transplant recipients; neoplasms (cancer); and autoimmune diseases with medical prescription.
HPV Vaccination Centers in Campos
– From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Patronage of San José
UBS El Dorado
UBS Santa Maria
UBS Santos Dumont
ESF Santa Cruz
UBS Ponta Grossa
UBSF Jamil Abido
UBS New Sale
UPH Santo Eduardo
UPH San Jose.
– From 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Guarus Health Center
UBS Parque Prazeres
UBS bus fleet
UBS Parc Imperial
UBS Poco Gordo
Advisor UBS Josino
UBS Ponta da Lama
UBS Lac de Cima
UBS Santo Amaro
UPH of Travessão and Morro do Coco.