Cervical cancer 2nd most common malignancy in females: Experts
Informative talk on cancer awareness on eve of World Cancer Day
Chandigarh: “Women usually ignore their health issues due to their busy schedule but sometimes this ignorance creates big problems for their health. One of the most common health problem in women is cervical cancer. It occurs most commonly in women above the age of 30 years.”
Speaking during an informative talk on cancer awareness on the eve of World Cancer Day at Alchemist Hospital on Tuesday, Dr. Ibha sr. consultant, obstetrics & gynaecology said that mostly the disease gets diagnosed at a very late stage because of a lack of awareness especially amongst the rural population.
In India cervical cancer is the second most common malignancy in females. The main cause of cervical cancer is a long-lasting infection of certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV), she remarked.
She said further that regular screening including PAP and HPV tests help to find abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix at the earliest stage. Screening is not 100% accurate, so women should report symptoms such as unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge and pelvic pain. The second preventive measure is vaccination. HPV vaccination can significantly reduce the risk of cervical cancer, she maintained.
Dr Aparna Sharma sr. consultant, obstetrics & gynaecology at Alchemist informed that HPV vaccination protects against HPV Type 16 and 18, the two Types that causes more than 80% of cervical carcinoma cases.
She said that two doses of HPV vaccines should be given to all girls at the age of 11 to 12 years, over six months. It can be given as early as 9 years of age. If the girl age is 15 and above than three doses should be given. Women can still get the vaccine until they are 45 years. She emphasized that it is important to attend or get your cervical screening test even if you have been vaccinated for HPV.
Dr Kanwarneet Singh consultant surgical oncology informed that carcinoma cervix is the second most common cancer in women in India. Women in India present in late stages due to sense of shame and taboo attached with these cancers, which makes treatment difficult. Cervical cancer is one of the preventable cancer. Prevention can be vaccination of young females against HPV, screening and treatment of precancerous lesions and education about sexual health.