Cervial Cancer : Prevention is better than Cure
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer having the highest mortality in India. As reported by WHO one woman dies of cervical cancer in every eight minutes. Though cervical cancer is a preventable disease most Indian women are not aware of simple screening that can be live saving. Poor personal hygiene , delayed diagnosis and inadequate treatment facilities put women at a higher risk of cervical cancer.
1.What is cervical cancer??
Cervix is the narrow part of lower uterus or neck of womb , connecting uterus to vagina. If this junction is addressed to repeated inflammation or chronic infection it may lead to cancer. Although all age groups are vulnerable, women in their 30s and 40s are at highest risk.
2.Who are at risk??
Women having :
- Sexual exposure from early age
- Uncontrolled and unprotected sex
- Multiple sexual Partners (Both male and Female)
- Lack of Personal Hygiene
these risk factors make the individual more prone to HPV infection that in term causes long term inflammation in cervix predisposing to cancer. Females from poor socioeconomic background are more prone to this due to lack of personal hygiene.
3.Can it be prevented??
- Yes, it can be prevented with Regular screening , HPV vaccination and initiating treatment at the earliest for pre-cancerous lesions.
- PAP smear and HPV test: These tests can be done simultaneously and they reveal any changes in cells that may indicate the possibility of developing cancer in future so that treatment can be initiated at earliest. It is recommended for all women aged between 21years to 65 years and frequency depending on age of the women.
- HPV Vaccine: Vaccine can be given for all the women in age group of 9 – 45 years but benefit is maximum if it is given before one becomes sexually active. Most of the vaccines gives protection against common virus strains causing HPV infection in most women.
- Maintain Personal hygiene, specially during menstruation.
- Avoid unprotected Sex
- Avoid early sexual exposure and multiple sexual partners
4.What are the symptoms??
Cervical cancer may not have any symptom in the early stage that’s why screening is very important. When the symptoms begins to surface , they include:
- Long term foul smelling White discharge
- Post coital bleeding
- Any Bleeding other than menstrual bleeding
- Postmenopausal bleeding
- Non-healing Injury or ulcer over cervical region
- Lower abdominal or Low back Pain
5.What are the treatment options??
- Treatment options are Surgery, Radiotherapy, Chemo therapy and Supportive care dependant on a number of factors such as stage of cancer, age and overall health of patients.
- If cancer is detected at early stage either surgery or Radiation can be used for treatment, for advanced stage disease both radiation and chemotherapy may be needed.
Cervical cancer can be prevented, can be cured if diagnosed early , thousands of life
can be saved …….The need of the hour is awareness about importance of regular
screening, Vaccination and last but not the least importance of maintaining personal
Together we can Conquer the Curse of Cervical cancer.