In heartbreaking news that was shared by her team on Instagram, it has been revealed that 32-year-old model and actress Poonam Pandey has succumbed to cervical cancer. “This morning is a tough one for us. Deeply saddened to inform you that we have lost our beloved Poonam to cervical cancer. Every living form that ever came in contact with her was met with pure love and kindness. In this time of grief, we would request for privacy while we remember her fondly for all that we shared,” the post that was shared on Poonam’s Instagram handle read.
Poonam Pandey’s Death Reason: What Is Cervical Cancer?
Cervical cancer develops in a woman’s cervix – the entrance to the uterus from the vagina. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 99% of cervical cancer cases are linked to infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV), an extremely common virus transmitted through sexual contact. Although most infections with HPV resolve spontaneously and cause no symptoms, persistent infection can cause cervical cancer in women. The WHO further points out, “Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women. Effective primary (HPV vaccination) and secondary prevention approaches (screening for, and treating precancerous lesions) will prevent most cervical cancer cases.”
Cervical Cancer: Importance Of Vaccination
Dr Krishnaveni Nayini, Senior Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Yashoda Hospitals Hyderabad, says, “The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common virus. HPV can be easily passed on during any sexual activities between partners. The majority of sexually active men and women will come into contact with HPV at some point in their lives and will spontaneously clear the virus from their bodies within a few months (as happens with other viruses like those for cold and flu). Genital HPV is passed on during sexual activities, including vaginal and anal sex, oral sex and less risky non-penetrative sex.”
Often the HPV infection is cleared within two years and it is only when it persists in a small number of women that this may develop into pre-cancerous cells called Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN), says Dr Nayini.
HPV vaccine helps to prevent HPV-related cancers from developing in boys and girls. “While most types of HPV are harmless, some high-risk types can lead to the development of cancers, including cervical cancer, cancers of the head and neck (mouth and throat) and cancers of the anus and genital areas,” says Dr Nayini.
The vaccination, as per doctors, should be done preferably between the ages of 9 and 12, before the first sexual encounter, says Dr Pramod Kumar Julka, Senior Director, Medical Oncology, Max Institute of Cancer Care, Lajpat Nagar. “Earlier, we used to say the vaccine should be taken before marriage. But changing times and social practices means it’s best to take the vaccine before the first sexual encounter.”
Poonam Pandey’s Death: Official Post
Check out the post that confirmed Pandey’s death
Lifestyle Changes Can Reduce Cervical Cancer Risk
Dr Pooja Mehta, Director – Unit Head Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Marengo Asia Hospital, Gurugram, mentions that certain measures can help lower the risk of cervical cancer. The steps include:
– Quit Smoking
– Exercise Regularly
– Avoid Consuming Birth Control Pills
– Exercise Caution In Case Of Multiple Sexual Partners
– Go For A Regular Pap Smear Or Screening
– Make Dietary Changes: Consume plenty of fruit, vegetables and healthy food