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Fiji Time: 4:25 PM on Wednesday 16 April

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Women's No.1 killer

Luke Rawalai
Wednesday, December 04, 2013

CERVICAL cancer is the number one killer of women in Fiji.

Cervical Cancer Prevention Program project manager Karolina Tamani said that out of all cancer cases discovered in Fiji, 16 per cent was cervical.

The survey also found that out of all cancer cases, 25 per cent affected women.

Ms Tamani made the comment while responding to a claim by a non governmental organisation that there was an increase in human papillomavirus cases in the country over the past years.

She said this was not true, adding that no specific research had been conducted to determine the number of HPV cases in the country yet.

"HPV is transmitted sexually and takes 10 to 15 years from infection to develop into fully blown cancer," she said.

"The last available data we have is from the year 2000 and the research revealed that globally, 33 out of 100,000 women had some form of cancer.

"Cervical cancer is caused by HPV before it fully develops into cancer."

Mrs Tamani said the risk factors of the disease included having sexual activity at any early age and multiple sexual partners.

"Risk factors that also contribute to the transmission of the virus include exposure to sexually transmitted diseases, genetic pre-dispositions, previous abnormal Pap mears, smoking and immuno-suppression.