Government to start screening for cervical cancer

In recent years, one in every four deaths in Malta was caused by cancer.

The government will start free screening for cervical cancer, Health Minister Godfrey Farrugia announced this morning.

Addressing the media and staff of Paul Boffa’s hospital on the occasion of World Cancer Day, Farrugia said the government’s commitment in fighting cancer led to the introduction of this screening.

The Health Minister did not give any time frames, although MaltaToday is informed that this screening will start by the end of this year.

The cervical cancer may be considered as not so common, with around 10-15 cases per year in Malta. It has around 40-50% survival rate. The survival rate is higher in women diagnosed at a younger age. 

According to several medical experts, this cancer is one of the easiest female cancer to prevent with regular screening tests and follow-up.

Godfrey Farrugia also announced that when Boffa hospital is transferred to the new oncology centre in Mater Dei by the end of this year, breast-screening facilities will be strengthened. Radiotherapy equipment will increase from one to three, and medical staff who graduated from Cardiff and Leeds will be serving at the new oncology centre.

He said that the 2015-2020 screening policy was already being devised.

According to official statistics, one in every four deaths in Malta was caused by cancer in recent years.

Speaking before the minister, Michelle Muscat underlined the importance for women to accept screening invitations, saying more awareness was needed to address misunderstandings about Cancer. The Prime Minister’s wife also thanked the staff for their work and dedication.