Health consultants are cautioning women to desist from inserting unapproved products, including kerosene and salt, in their vaginas.

The experts have concluded that some women are culpable of applying such products and herbs to make their vagina firmer.

These habits, according to them, are unhealthy and form part of risk factors for cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is the abnormal growth of the cells on the surface of a woman’s cervix, which can spread to other parts of the body if not detected early or treated early.

The cancer is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) virus or a sexually transmitted infection. Cancer develops when the HPV infection persists in the body due to risk factors that compromise the immune system.

Public Health Consultant and Founder of Healthier & Happier Life Foundation, Dominic Gadeka, said this at an event to commemorate world cancer day here in Accra.

“What we have observed is that a lot of our young ladies are claiming they are tightening their vagina, and so they are using a lot of things. Some are using herbs. Some don’t wash it before they insert it into their private part.

“Some pound it and put it in their private part. Some use a lot of salt and put it in their private part, claiming to tighten their vagina. And some even go the extra mile using kerosene. When this happens, it means you are compromising the acidic content (the natural environment) of the vagina, which can compromise your immune system. So any other thing can manifest.”

He added that usage of make-up products and irrational intake of contraceptives are additional cancer-causing factors in women. He advised individuals to seek consultations from health practitioners to adapt safer family planning measures.

“Our ladies like make-up a lot, and so industries are taking advantage of it. Some of them, the contents are not being checked. Some are cancer-causing. Through osmosis it passes through the skin into the body.

“The liver will try to detoxify these things, but when this is too much to detoxify, it can manifest in any form; skin, breast.

“And irrational usage of contraceptive pills so if you continuously use emergency pills for five years, you are at the risk of developing breast cancer, liver cancer, cervical and other things.

“So we have to be mindful of the way we use contraceptive pills. So if you want to use family planning, kindly see your clinician, and then the necessary family planning method will be discussed with you.”

Data from experts suggest breast cancer is the most dominant cancer amongst women, whereas men are also at risk of developing it.

In Ghana, cervical cancer is the first leading cause of female cancer deaths, although being the second leading cause of cancer. Close to 3000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year; close to 2000 die from it, constituting a mortality rate of 67 per cent.