Chisinau - On January 23-28 Moldova marks the European Week for the Cervical Cancer Prevention. On this occasion, the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund, and the International Association for Cervical Cancer Prevention, organized a series of public events aiming at increasing awareness and inform women about the importance of prevention measures and early detection of cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer is one of the most important public health problems both in Europe and in Moldova. According to statistics, mortality from cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women after breast cancer. Six women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every week in Moldova and three women die of this disease every week.
"Today, we want to come up with a profound message of support and solidarity with all women who struggle with this disease and try to prevent it. The Ministry of Health urges every woman in Moldova, aged 25 and 61, to perform cervical screening or Pap smear test, which is free of charge", said Moldova Health Minister Ruxandra Glavan.
The cervical screening programs can prevent up to 80% of cases of disease. Specialists recommended cervical screening every three years for all women aged between 25 and 61. Equally important is vaccination against human papilloma virus (HPV) during adolescence period.
"UNFPA supports the Ministry of Health, jointly with other partners, to ensure that every woman has access to quality healthcare services in order to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights, prevent cervical cancer and stay healthy," said UNFPA Assistant Representative in Moldova Natalia Cojohari.
Cervical cancer is caused by infection with human papilloma virus (HPV), it grows slowly and initially doesn’t show typical symptoms. In 2015, 3914 women in were registered with cervical cancer Moldova, out of which 290 new cases were detected. Cervical cancer mainly affects young women.
Most cases occur among women aged 35 to 60. More than 60% of new cases are diagnosed in late stages, when the treatment is less effective but also more expensive. In 2015, 149 women died from this disease.
The European Week for Cervical Cancer Prevention has been institutionalized by the International Association for Cervical Cancer Prevention of, which Moldova joined in 2009. During this week various information activities on cervical cancer prevention will be organised, including flashmobs, webinars and awareness campaigns on social media.