“Green June”: prevention and detection of cervical cancer

The Cancer Institute of French Polynesia is organizing aah July cervical cancer awareness campaign. titled” Green June” is about five campaigns with the same message: “Cervical cancer is preventable. Take your smear! »

Like Pink October for breast cancer, the French Polynesian Cancer Institute has declared June “Green” month dedicated to cervical cancer prevention. Launched worldwide since 2010, this movement aims to provide a better understanding of this disease and to encourage women to have a swab test.

This cancer, which affects about fifteen women in Fenua each year, has already been the subject of a joint campaign with breast cancer. However, since January 1st, the Cancer Institute of French Polynesia has taken over the screening missions previously entrusted to the health department and wants to anchor this “Green June” in the calendar.

Creating awareness in a fun way

For the whole month of June to the beginning of July, the ICPF is therefore planning more or less funny awareness campaigns. The first will be held on June 24th to mark Mahana Matie, the day all in green. This Friday, the population is called upon to dress in green to support women affected by this cancer. To motivate mobilization, the ICPF is planning a photo competition with prizes to be won. All you have to do to enter is post your green-dressed photo on social media with the hashtag #MahanaMatie.

On July 2nd, the ICPF is planning an awareness day at the French Polynesia Assembly from 9am to 4pm. Free workshops on well-being with conferences and exchanges in the presence of associations will be offered to the public.

To be in the game and reach out to young people, the institute is also banking on the influence of Tiktok by launching the “Matie Tahiti Tik Tok”. This challenge, initiated by three local ambassadors, consists of posting one or more messages of support for patients suffering from this disease on their Tik Tok account with the hashtag #MatieTahiti.

A cancer whose causes are known

Unlike some other cancers, we know the cause of those of the cervix: the viruses called “human papillomavirus” or HPV, which are very common. They are transmitted during sexual intercourse with or without penetration and even the condom does not provide 100% protection. According to official figures, 80% of women face it at some point in their lives. In most cases they heal spontaneously, but there is still a 10% risk that these viruses cause microlesions that can become cancerous after a few years.

The smear is still the most effective method to prevent the development of cancer cells. Keep in mind that women between the ages of 25 and 65 are recommended to have a swab every three years. It is a painless and completely free gynecological examination. A vaccine against the papilloma virus is also available in Polynesia and has been proven in many countries to drastically reduce the incidence of cervical cancer. But unlike mainland France or New Caledonia, this vaccine is not currently reimbursed by Fenua and is therefore not offered in schools. Grabbed by the League Against Cancer, the government would have pledged to change regulations and launch a free vaccination campaign for young girls. No schedule has been made official yet.

Vaitiare Pereyre-Gobrait

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