by Kasia Giedroye THE GOVERNMENT should encourage the real prevention of cervical cancer by doing everything possible to prevent girls under the age of 16 from engaging in sexual activity said the Order of Christian Unity last week in a reiteration of its recent call for the Government to reexamine its entire policy in this area.
While wholeheartedly supporting last week's appeal by Labour's health spokesman, Mr Frank Dobson, for greater prevention of cancer of the cervix by an increase in the availability of cervical smears and more efficiency in the recall of women with doubtful results, the Order of Christian Unity points out that early detection of an already abnormal cervix is not as valuable as prevention of such damage.
Dr Margaret White, a memberof the General Medical Council and co-author of the recently launched OCLI report Children and Contraception: Failure of a Policy said that precocious sexual activity, known to be one of the causes of cervical cancer in the young, could be prevented through health education and by application of the law.
Days after the publication of the ()CU report, the World Health Organisation completed the biggest international investigation yet made into the link between cancer of the cervix and oral contraceptives.
The study, which involved more than 6,000 women it) eight countries, shows that women taking the pill for more than five years run up to twice the risk of developing the disease.