Cervical cancer is the most common cancer among females in the rural population and it is one of the most common cancers among females in the urban population also. The most common cause of cervical cancer in Asian countries has been HPV positivity, that is, human papillomavirus positivity, which is abundant in the Asian population. And so, there is a greater risk of development of cervical cancer.
According to Dr Pritam Kataria, Consultant Medical Oncology at Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital, “The screening for cervical cancers is very easy and it is by doing the pap smear testing. By doing the pap smear testing, it is possible to look at whether there is an HPV infection, which is already there, or there are some changes in the mucosa or the lining of the cervix and help us to diagnose cervical cancer very early.”
Dr Pritam adds, “So, if you look at the prevention measures, which are now coming up in cancer management, the two post-prominent cancers where prevention has been talked about the liver cancer, that is, hepatic cell cancer, and second is cervical cancer. It is known that the most common cause of cervical cancer in Asian countries is human papillomavirus infection. If we can vaccinate children between the ages of 9 years to 22 years among females, or before attainment of sexual activity, in that situation, we can give this vaccination and prevent them from getting infected with human papillomavirus.”
“There are two vaccines available, which are Glydacin and Sarvalin, for carcinoma suffix prevention, and both of these vaccines can be given by the gynaecologist, and it can be administered to boys also, and can help in prevention of the pre-cancerous conditions or carcinoma of penis among the males”, recommends Dr Pritam.
“If you look at the burden of cervical cancer in India, well, as per the Sohoban data in 2020, it is the second most common cancer among females in India. There are around 1,23,000 cases diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, and it accounts for about 18% of the total burden of cancer among females. The incidence of cervical cancer is rising, and it is one of the cancers which can be prevented by vaccination and one of the cancers which can be detected early by a simple screening test”, states Dr Pritam.
Most common symptoms of cervical cancer as per Dr Pritam are, “post-menopausal females, having pervo-genital bleed, which can be one of the symptoms of cervical cancer or endometrial cancer, having vitreous discharge with blood, or having excessive bleeding during menstruation, are some of the red flag signs, in which case the female should go and contact the gynecologist, and they’ll do a simple test in your hand, the pervo-genital examination, and they’ll do the vascular examination also. And if they find something on the pervo-genital examination, they’ll order the biopsy for further investigation, and the scanning, requisite scanning, if the cervical cancer cells are seen on the biopsy.”