In September, the Department of Health is making women aware of cervical cancer.This is done through awareness, education and mobilising them to access screening, treatment, care and support in order to improve the quality of life and reduce maternal mortality. The Northern Cape MEC for Health, Lebogang Motlhaping, urges women to go for regular check-ups at their nearest health care facility for cervical cancer screening.According to Motlhaping, screening is by far the best and safest method to find cervix cell changes and early cervical cancer before it can cause symptoms. The early signs and symptoms of cervical cancer includes, among others, painful sexual intercourse, abnormal menstruation, abnormal vaginal bleeding or abnormal vaginal discharge, fatigue, nausea or weight loss.“Just like must know their bodies and through regular self-examination, detect lumps in their breasts, they must also be aware of their menstruation cycle to be able to detect abnormal cycles,” Motlhaping said.The National Department of Health recently introduced a new screening technique, liquid-based cytology, which is an improvement from the Pap smear technique, is more comfortable to perform and produces reliable results.According to the South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, cervical cancer affects one out of 41 South African women. It is estimated that this disease kills approximately eight women in the country every day, and the projections of the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates that it will increase to 12 deaths per day in 2025. The WHO also highlights that cervical cancer must be seen as a preventable disease.In an effort to manage and control cervical cancer, the department, through the Integrated School Health Programme, has continued with its second round of human papilloma virus (HPV) immunisation for Gr. 4 girls. This campaign will run until 27 September.