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How serious is cervical cancer in India?

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Gytree Team
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cervical cancer in India

Verified by Dr. Vaishali Sakpal Rane (MBBS, DGO Obstetrics and Gynaecology, DNB Obstetrics and Gynaecology)

Cervical cancer is the cancer of the cervix, which is the lowermost part of a woman's uterus (womb). Cervical cancer is very common and it is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide with an estimated data of 604 000 new cases and 342 000 deaths in 2020. 

Talking about the prevalence of cervical cancer in India, it is the 3rd most common cancer in women with an Incidence rate of 18.3% (123,907 cases). Around 453 million Indian women of age 15 years and above are at risk of developing cervical cancer. Statistics from the HPV information centre show that around 96922 women get diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, and 60078 out of them die of this disease. 

In 2020 about 90% of the new global cases and deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries. Additionally, the poor access to medical facilities, low socioeconomic status and lack of awareness has contributed to the spread of cervical cancer in rural areas. 

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According to WHO: 

  • The two strains of human papillomavirus (HPV), which are 16 and 18 are responsible for causing nearly 50% of the high grade pre-cancers in cervical cancer.
  • HPV is mainly transmitted through sexual contact. It can spread by direct skin-to-skin contact during sexual activities like vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Most people get infected with HPV shortly after they begin the sexual activity but more than 90% of them ultimately clear the infection.
  • Women who are diagnosed with HIV are 6 times more likely to develop cervical cancer as compared to women who don’t have HIV.

Vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer screenings to find out the pre-cancer lesions is an economic way to prevent cervical cancer.

cervical cancer in India
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HPV test is for identification of the human papillomavirus which causes cervical cancer. Most of the time HPV doesn’t cause any problems but sometimes certain types of this virus ( mostly 16 and 18) can cause cancers and STIs. This testing is a part of cervical cancer screening

Cervical cancer can be prevented if necessary measures are taken on time. 

Primary prevention: Vaccination against HPV

Secondary prevention: Screening and treatment of precancerous lesions 

Tertiary prevention: Right diagnosis and treatment. 

Talk to your doctor to know more about the cervical cancer vaccine and routine screening tests for early diagnosis and prevention of cervical cancer

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