According to the Globocan 2020 report, nearly 18.3% of women are diagnosed with cervical cancer. Northeastern states like Aizwal in Mizoram and Papumpare in Arunachal Pradesh have the highest falls. India recorded the highest number of deaths from cervical cancer, according to a research report published in The Lancet Global Health in 2018.Also Read – What is Cervical Cancer Screening? Can Pap Smear Test Help Prevent This?
Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the lower part of the uterus, which is connected to the vagina. It is also called the cervix.
Dr. Rajeev Vijayakumar, Consultant, Medical Oncology, Hemato-Oncology, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospitals, Bengaluru, told Indian Express that cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide. Dr. Rajeev also mentions that few women screen for cervical cancer and India accounts for 16% of all cancers worldwide. Detected early, however, it can be prevented.
Due to the lack of awareness of the early detection of cervical cancer, it poses a major challenge in India. Women between the ages of 30-49 are Also Read – The Three Most Important Types Of Cancer In Women We Need To Know
screened for cervical cancer and less than 30% of women do so. As indicated by the World Health Organization (WHO), annual cases of cervical cancer could rise from 5,70,000 to 7,000,000 in 2018-2030 without additional measures. Also Read – Important Facts About Cervical Cancer
Cases of cervical cancer:
- Sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
- Uneven vaginal bleeding
- Notice blood after intercourse
- Postmenopausal bleeding
- foul-smelling discharge from the vagina
- Discomfort in the lower back and abdomen.
Dr. Rajeev says, “It is advisable to see an oncologist if any of the above symptoms are visible.”
What are the risk factors?
Here are some of the major risk factors associated with cervical cancer:
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection: HPV is a sexually transmitted infection that plays an important role in causing cervical cancer.
- Smoking: Women who smoke are at higher risk of developing cervical cancer than women who do not smoke. It develops cervical mucus and other deadly diseases.
- Weakened immunity: Virus that causes AIDS, weakens the immune system, and puts people at risk of contracting HIV. Immunity prevents cancer cells from developing and stopping their growth and spread.
- Birth control pills: Long-term use of birth control pills can also lead to cervical cancer. Research has shown that if a woman uses OCs for a long time, the risk of cervical cancer increases. However, the risk decreases when OCs are stopped. However, it will be many years before normality.
- Multiple sex partners: Dr. Rajeev says, “This is one of the leading risk factors in women. They are usually infected with high-risk strains of HPV and are at risk for cervical cancer, and studies have shown that HPV vaccination greatly reduces the risk of cervical cancer in young girls. Numerous sexual intercourse affects vaginal health, which can lead to pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, and premature birth. In India this topic is taboo and needs to be emphasized. “
Early detection helps with disease management
WHO’s main goal is to eradicate cervical cancer by 2030 by vaccinating 90% of girls by age 15, 70% of women by age 35, and again by age 45, along with several other measures.
Dr. Rajeev says, “Very few women are screened for cervical cancer, even though India accounts for 16 percent of all cervical cancer cases worldwide. Screening is a preventive service and several techniques have been shown to be effective in reducing the incidence of the disease. Early diagnosis can increase the chances of successful therapy and prevent delays in diagnosis. In rural India, some of the barriers to early detection are ignorance, fear of cancer detection, drugs, infrastructure, poverty and illiteracy. “
The Ministry of Health in India has started other cancer screenings like PAP smear screening, HIV DNA test and a few others. Cervical cancer can be overcome by raising awareness, promoting a healthy lifestyle, and early detection. Dr. Rajeev says, “Two healthy habits to follow are quitting smoking and getting healthy nutrients into your diet.”