Hospital da Luz Physician Explains Cervical Cancer Prevention

Virgínia Monteiro, coordinator of the Laser Colposcopy Unit of Hospital da Luz Lisboa’s Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, was in the TV show “Edição da Manhã”, at SIC Notícias channel, on January 23, explaining the incidence of cervical cancer and the means of prevention available.

The participation of this physician, who is also president of the Portuguese Society of Colposcopy, occurred associated to the 10th European Week of Cervical Cancer, being celebrated by institutions all over Europe.

Every year, about a thousand new cases of cervical cancer arise on average, in Portugal, caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), which is transmitted sexually.

“It is the second cause of death in women in fertile age, that is to say, between 15 and 44 years of age”, highlighted Virgínia Monteiro, explaining that “there are over 120 different HPV types, 14 of which of high-risk, meaning that they can cause cervical cancer”.

“The two weapons” we have, to prevent this type of cancer, are primary screening and vaccination against the virus, the vaccine being included in the National Vaccination Program for girls between 9 and 14 years old, “but it can be administered at any age”.

Virgínia Monteiro reminded that “the biggest problem with this disease is that it is silent, in the beginning”. And it is worth noting that “80% of women with an active sexual life may have the virus”, thence the importance of prevention.