By Nico Strydom
Recent opinion polls found that during the Covid-19 pandemic women have been neglecting their health by, among others, postponing doctor’s visits and not going for routine examinations.
South African women are warned to not neglect their regular examination in the light of the continuing pandemic. It has, among others, been found that many women postpone a visit to their doctor for anything that is not immediately uncomfortable or visible, which heightens the risk of undiagnosed illnesses.
Research has also found that women’s wellbeing has declined considerably since the start of the pandemic, as they have to fulfil many more roles, which has an impact on their mental health.
Dr. Emmanuel Majachani, a specialist gynaecologist at the Netcare Sunninghill hospital, says it has been noticed that women are endangering their health, especially when it comes to very common and serious illnesses, such as cervical cancer.
“Cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer and the biggest cause of cancer-related deaths among South African women. However, this need not be a death sentence, as it is treatable if detected in an early stage through a simple Pap smear. The lack of regular examinations has led to this terrible statistic becoming an avoidable reality for so many women out there.”
According to Majachani, in the early stages of cervical cancer there aren’t necessarily any symptoms. “This is another reason why a Pap smear has to be done regularly, so that any cancer cells can be detected early and the treatment begin.
“Although cancer treatment has progressed dramatically, it simply isn’t worth running the risk of skipping routine examinations. We as medici want to see our patients taking control of their health and making it a priority, so that unnecessary tragedies can be avoided.”
A recent opinion poll by 1st for Women found that fewer women have gone for mammograms during the past few months due to their fear of contracting Covid-19 or due to financial reasons related to the pandemic.
The result is a drastic decline in routine mammograms being reported worldwide, which in its turn leads to cases of cancer only being diagnosed in the advanced stage of the disease. However, early detection is essential in order to start treatment faster and prevent deaths.
1st for Women: https://www.firstforwomen.co.za/