Cervical cancer is the second most serious illness in women, the first being breast cancer. However, this is both preventable and treatable.
Around 1 in every 53rd woman get cervical cancer at some point in life. After breast cancer, cervical cancer is the major life-threatening disease in Indian women. When the cells in the uterus start to grow abnormally, it causes cancer. Unlike other cancer types, this cancer is very much treatable if diagnosed and attended on time but the sad part is that most women are unaware of this cancer and its hazardous effects. Not only in India but women all across the globe lack information about cervical cancer, its causes, symptoms and prevention. There is a dire need for awareness about cervical cancer which can help a lot of women to overcome this disease and lead a cancer-free healthy and happy life.
Dr. Inder Maurya, Emergency Medicine, MD, Foreign OPD says, ”the 2nd most common cancer seen in Indian women, is primarily caused by virus HPV16 or 18 (most commonly). It is a major health hazard affecting middle aged women, particularly in rural India. The cancer can be completely eradicated if timely screening and vaccination is done. Every year 97000 new cases of cervical cancer is diagnosed, 60 k deaths takes place with the fatality rate of 49%. Management of cervical cancer is based on FIGO staging. A prompt 2nd medical opinion plays a pivotal role in the management of cervical cancer in diagnosis & treatment thereby reducing mortality and morbidity"
What are some signs of cervical cancer?
Here are the common symptoms that can help you to identify cervical cancer:
- Pelvic pain
- Blood with vaginal discharge
- Odor during vaginal discharge
- Bleeding after menopause
- Difficulty during intercourse
- Bleeding during or after intercourse
Can cervical cancer be prevented?
As stated in the first paragraph itself, it is possible to prevent and also treat cervical cancer given that the woman consults a good doctor is she sees any of the above-mentioned signs.
Preventive Measures To Take
There are certain ways which can help in the prevention of cervical cancer
1. HPV or Human papillomavirus vaccine
There is a link between some kinds of human papillomavirus and the development of cervical cancer in women. It is important for every woman to utilize HPV vaccination programs which would help them diagnose and reduce the frequency of cancer.
2. Safe sex
HPV vaccination can protect against only two strains of this virus and other strains can attack and cause cervical cancer easily. Not many people know but cervical cancer is related to sexual activity. To prevent HPV infection, it is suggested to have safe sex that too with limited partners. The number of sexual partners, the higher is the risk of infection and cervical cancer.
3. Cervical screening
Screening for cervical cancer is one of the best ways to identify cancer before it develops into a serious disease and the cancer cells spread.
4. Quit smoking
Smoking is extremely injurious to health and no wonder it is also bad for cervical cancer, in fact, bad for all cancers. As per a study, women who smoke are at a greater risk of cervical cancer as compared to women who don’t smoke.
Dr. Dadasaheb Akolkar, Director Research, and Innovations, Datar Cancer Genetics Ltd, says, "Incidence of cervical cancer among women in India is the second-largest, after breast cancer. Regular screening is the simplest way for early detection and diagnosis. However, there is a huge reluctance and shyness among women to undergo periodic screening using existing methods that are invasive. Advanced non-invasive techniques like blood-based screening will ease this reluctance while aiding early detection and monitoring."
Treatment for Cervical Cancer
There are various treatment options for cervical cancer such as:
- Or sometimes, a combination of these.
The treatment depends on cancer and its stage. Also, doctors check the health condition of the patient before starting the treatment. The success rates for first-stage cancer is high as compared to others.
To know more about cervical cancer, watch this video.
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