Doctors receiving training in cervical cancer surgery

  • Cervical cancer can be diagnosed through Pap test in early phase

Bhaktapur, July 23

Doctors of Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital and Nepal Cancer Relief Society have been undergoing surgical training in gynecologic oncology from Health Volunteers Overseas, USA, at the cancer hospital in the district, for a week now.

To produce specialist surgeons in gynecologic ontology in the country, the HVO was approached for the training. The doctors would be trained and mentored over the next two years, said Lokendra Shrestha, chairman of BCH.

“Within a week, we have performed six cervical surgeries in the hospital,” informed Dr Judith Wolf, a gynecologic oncologist, who is also in-charge of the HVO.

Dr Wolf  said cervical cancer was a very common disease in Nepal due to lack of proper medical technology and Nepali people’s poor access to health facilities.

According to her, to be an accomplished surgeon in this field, a doctor has to be trained and mentored under direct supervision of expert doctors for two years.  In Nepal, there were very few such surgeons and more doctors had to be trained so that they could handle the growing number of cervical cancer cases, she opined.

The doctor also informed that cervical cancer could be diagonised at its early phase through Pap test, a screening procedure for cervical cancer in women, and that the infection could be prevented by administering human papillomavirus vaccine to teenage boys and girls.

According to her, as HPV vaccines cost high, many cannot afford them but immunisation is an effective way to reduce cervical cancer cases.

Dr Wolf said males were the carriers of HPV virus and could transfer the virus to many females if they had multiple sex partners. She stated that timely treatment of HPV infection was very essential to prevent the infection from growing into cancer.  Data show that almost half a million people across the world die due to cervical cancer annually, especially in developing countries where HPV vaccines are not easily available.