Cervical cancer kills 1 in 52 Indian women

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent complications

*New Delhi, 04 November 2018:* Cervical cancer is one of the major reasons for mortality among Indian women aged between 15 and 44 years. On average, India reports about 122,000 new cases of cervical cancer annually, with about 67,500 women succumbing to the disease, accounting for 11.1% of total deaths related to cancer. However, only 3.1% of women get screened for the
condition.

Cervical cancer affects the lining of the cervix, which is the lower part
of the uterus. The region in the cervix where there is a transition from
one cell type to another is called the squamo-columnar junction. This is
the area that is most prone to develop cancer. Cancer of the cervix
develops gradually and becomes full-blown over time.

Speaking about this, Padma *Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President,
HCFI, *said,
The Human Papilloma Virus or HPV is responsible for causing cervical
cancers, almost all which are caused by longstanding infection with one of
the HPVs. HPV infection is spread through sexual contact or skin-to-skin
contact. An HPV infection typically resolves on its own. In some women, the
HPV infection persists and causes precancerous changes in the cells of the
cervix. These changes can be detected by regular cervical cancer screening
(known as Pap testing). With Pap testing, a superficial sample of cells
from the cervix is taken with a brush or swab during a routine pelvic
examination and sent to a laboratory for analysis of the cells’ appearance.”

Some symptoms of cervical cancer include: abnormal vaginal bleeding,
vaginal bleeding after menopause or sex, bleeding or spotting between
periods, longer or heavier menstrual periods than usual, other abnormal
vaginal discharge, and pain during sexual intercourse.

Adding further, *Dr Aggarwal*, said, “Cervical cancer can often be
prevented with vaccination and modern screening techniques that detect
precancerous changes in the cervix. Treatment for cervical cancer depends
on several factors, such as the stage of the cancer, other health problems
you may have and your preferences. Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or a
combination of the three may be used.”

*Some tips from HCFI *

- Reduce your chances of getting infected with the virus by avoiding
sexual contact with multiple partners without adequate protection. condoms.
- Get a Pap test done every 3 years as timely detection can help in
curing this condition.
- Quit smoking right away. Nicotine and other components found in
cigarettes may pass through the blood stream and get deposited in the
cervix where they can alter the growth of cervical cells. Smoking can also
suppress your immune system making it more susceptible to HPV infections.
- Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Maintain a healthy weight as being overweight or obese increases the
risk of insulin resistance, which may lead to type II diabetes and increase
the risk of developing cancer