“Cervical cancer is predominantly caused by human papilloma virus”
Cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths among women in India, with approximately 1.32 lakh new cases being diagnosed and about 74,000 deaths every year. Cervical cancer is predominantly caused by human papilloma virus (HPV), a common viral infection, accounting for most cancer deaths in Indian women and the second most common cancer in women worldwide. The good news is that cervical cancer is preventable and curable if detected early.
Cervical Cancer And Its Symptoms
Cervical cancer occurs sequentially from abnormal cells which progress to grow out of control. When symptoms appear, the disease is usually in its advanced stage. The most common symptoms include abnormal vaginal discharge, unexpected bleeding, bleeding after menopause and pain during sexual intercourse. Having multiple sexual partners, smoking and long term usage of contraceptive pills are the major reasons contributing to the disease.
Cervical cancer can be prevented if the vaccination is given before the person is exposed to the virus. If boys are given this vaccination, it helps protect girls from the virus. The recommended age for the vaccination in boys and girls is 11-12 years of age but the vaccination is also given as early as age 9. However, it is recommended for women to get this vaccine at 26 years of age.
Though the vaccination helps prevent cervical cancer, it is not recommended for pregnant women. It is also better for people who are severely or moderately ill not to take this vaccine. The vaccination prevents appearance of genital warts in women. HPV helps prevent the spread of infection and prevents vulvar and vaginal cancer. Get a pap test done at Apollo clinics to rule out the chance of cervical cancer.
The latest recommendations from the American Cancer Society for cervical cancer screening
- All women should begin cervical cancer screening at age 21.
- Women between the ages of 21 and 29 should get a Pap test done every 3 years. They should not be tested for HPV unless it is needed after an abnormal Pap test result.
- Women between the ages of 30 and 65 should have both a Pap test and an HPV test every 5 years. This is the preferred approach, but it is also alright to have a Pap test alone every 3 years.
- Women over age 65 who have had regular screenings with normal results should not be screened for cervical cancer. Women who have been diagnosed with cervical pre-cancer should continue to be screened.
Prevention is always better than cure and it is important to get your vaccination to protect yourself from cervical cancer.
Read more about it here: https://www.apollohospitals.com/departments/cancer/organ-cancer/cervical-cancer