Cancer is deadly, and it remains the leading cause of death globally, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020. India is carrying an enormous burden of cervical cancer on its shoulders. According to a Globocan 2020 report, almost 18.3 percent of Indian women are diagnosed with cervical cancer.
According to The Lancet Global Health report, approximately 97,000 cases and 60,000 deaths were reported in India in 2018. Globally, the average age at cervical cancer diagnosis was 53 years, and the average age at death from cervical cancer was 59 years. Cervical cancer remains in the top three cancers affecting women younger than 45 years in 146 of the 185 countries assessed.
Despite being the preventable form of cancer, it remains the fourth most common form of cancer in women. According to an estimate, almost 5,70,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer globally, whereas 3,11,000 women succumbed to the disease.
WHAT IS CERVICAL CANCER?
Cervical cancer starts from a woman's cervix. The cervix connects the vagina and the upper part of the uterus. In simpler terms, it begins in the cervix, the entrance of the uterus from the vagina. Mostly, all women are at risk of cervical cancer, but it occurs most often in women over 30.
MOST COMMON SYMPTOMS OF CERVICAL CANCER
99% of all cervical cancer cases are associated with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, a severe and widespread virus that spreads through sexual contact.
So, let's delve deeper into the subject and throw some light on the symptoms that will help women keep track of their health.
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Pain and bleeding after sexual intercourse
- Bleeding between periods
- Constant pelvic and back pain
- Bleeding after menopause
- Abnormal vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odour
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM CERVICAL CANCER
Screening tests: First and foremost, regular screening should always be on priority. Cervical cancer screening is crucial for a woman's health. Pap and HPV are screening tests that help prevent cervical cancer.
Pap test: The Pap test is done to detect any unusual change in the cells of the cervix, and the HPV test is carried out to determine high-risk types of HPV that are most likely to cause cervical cancer.
HPV vaccination: The HPV vaccine shields you against certain viruses that most often cause cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. As a result, the HPV vaccine reduces the risk of cervical cancer.
The vaccine is not recommended for women who are pregnant or severely ill.
Some of the other essential practices to keep in mind are:
- Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
- Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet.
- Avoid using birth control pills for a long time.
- Quit smoking.
ELIMINATING CERVICAL CANCER
Cervical cancer, the fourth most prevalent form of cancer among women globally, can be prevented if detected early. In a bid to eliminate Cervical cancer, the WHO has launched a global strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer. The approach to eliminating cervical cancer is focused on three significant steps: vaccination, screening and treatment.
WHO has vowed to eliminate cervical cancer by 2030, for which there are targets that we need to meet. According to the WHO set objective, around 90% of girls should be fully vaccinated with the HPV vaccine by 15, whereas 70% of women should be adequately screened by the age of 35 and then by 45.
Cervical cancer is treatable, yet it remains one of the biggest threats to women worldwide. The WHO has committed itself to the cause, and we at Maatri pledge our support towards eliminating cervical cancer.
Maatri offers vaccination for cervical cancer that shields you from this curable yet lethal form of cancer. Having adequate knowledge about cervical cancer yet remains an unfulfilled territory. Maatri aims to fill this gap by providing expert guidance and advice for cervical cancer, by the most seasoned health experts with more than 32 years of experience.
Don't neglect it. Make your health a priority, and you can prevent cervical cancer. Download the Maatri app and welcome safety and health in your lives.