Model-actor Poonan Pandey died due to cervical cancer on Friday at the age of 32. Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in women in India and accounts for 10% of all cancers in women.
It is now the eighth most commonly occurring cancer globally and the ninth leading cause of cancer death, with 6,61,044 new cases and 3,48,186 deaths that happened in the last year.
WHAT IS CERVICAL CANCER?
Cervical cancer occurs in the cervix, which is the lower, narrow end of the uterus (womb), that connects to the vagina. Before the cancer appears in the cervix, the cells go through changes known as dysplasia, in which abnormal cells start to grow and spread more deeply into the cervix and then to the surrounding areas.
It is caused when a person has a sexually transmitted infection by a Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Although in some cases, the virus is removed by the body’s immune system, in other cases, if the virus is an HPV 16 or HPV 18 – two of the most high-risk viruses – the chances of cervical cancer jump.
HPV is a group of 200 related viruses. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), nearly all sexually active people are infected with HPV at some point in their lives. While most HPV infections don’t cause cancer, some types of infections can persist.
SYMPTOMS OF CERVICAL CANCER
Experts caution that in many cases, cervical cancer might not show apparent signs in the early stages.
However, as the infection spreads and abnormal cells grow, the symptoms begin to show in the form of unusual vaginal bleeding, including post-coital bleeding, bleeding between periods or after menopause, watery or foul-smelling vaginal discharge, and pelvic pain, especially during intercourse.
HOW TO DETECT CERVICAL CANCER?
A simple pap test can detect cancer cells in the cervix. This test can also detect abnormal cells that might change and become cancerous.
Testing for cervical cancer should begin as early as 21 to 29 years along with screening intervals ranging from three to five years, based on results.
IS CERVICAL CANCER PREVENTABLE?
Cervical cancer is a preventable and curable disease. It can be managed and cured effectively if it is detected early.
TREATMENT FOR CERVICAL CANCER
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cervical cancer is treated in many ways, which include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, during the Budget 2024-25 speech in Parliament on February 1, announced that the government encouraged the vaccination for girls aged 9 to 14 against cervical cancer.
source by: India Today News
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