Published:  12:06 AM, 13 January 2019

Child marriages responsible for 54 percent cervical cancer

Experts for proper implementation of Child Marriage Restraint Act

Medical experts say child marriages are responsible for 54 percent of the cervical cancer cases in Bangladesh. "Early marriages contribute around 54 percent to cervical cancer in Bangladesh. Girls who get married before 16 are more susceptive to the disease," they said.

The health experts also urged all to raise their voice against early marriage by chanting a slogan: "Say no to child marriage and say it out loud." They revealed the statistics at a roundtable at the Jatiya Press Club yesterday. The program was organized to shape mass awareness which was attended by physicians and cancer researchers.

BSMMU Gynecological Oncology Department Chairperson Professor Sabera Khatun commented that the category of cancer can be prevented if the school and college going girls could be made more aware of the issue.

"The government needs to be sincere. Though child marriage has been made illegal by formulating a law, there are some flaws in that," she noted. Dhaka Medical College Hospital Oncology Department Professor Swapan Bandyopadhyay, meantime, stressed on building own capacity to diagnose the disease. He shed light on the growing number of patients pursuing treatment abroad every year.

Dr Md Habibullah Talukder, Chief Coordinator of the 'March for Mother' campaign and an Associate Professor at the National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital (NICRS), moderated the discussion while former NICRS director Prof Sheikh Golam Mostafa, Dhaka University Institute of Health Economics director Prof Syed Abdul Hamid and singer Samina Chowdhury were also present. 

The speakers underscored checking child marriage to slash the cervical cancer rate in Bangladesh. The epidemiology of cervical cancer is still unclear.  However, it is generally accepted that intercourse and childbearing are in some way associated with the occurrence of cervical cancer.

Other factors such as early coitus, the frequency of coitus, multiple marriages, early marriage, early first child, number of casual sexual partners and cervicitis are related to intercourse, marriage and childbearing.

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