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Let’s end the suffering of cervical cancer with these screening tests!

Cervical cancer affects the woman’s cervix, the lower part of the uterus. Despite being a preventable kind of cancer, it is the 3rd most common cancer in India. In 2020, it was responsible for 9.4% of all cancer cases. In this country, the situation is further alarming as women in rural parts are ignorant and illiterate. Hence, they fail to protect themselves. Additionally, the lack of healthcare resources contributes equally to the rising incidence of cancer of the cervix uteri.

Factors responsible for increasing incidence of cervical cancer:

Just like any other disease, eliminating the causes of cervical cancer can help to control it. Some of the crucial factors responsible for it are as follows:

  • Poor genital hygiene
  • Early age of marriage
  • Early sexual debut
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Repeated pregnancies
  • Long-term use of contraceptives
  • HPV infection
  • Smoking

Most effective strategy to prevent cervical cancer

As mentioned above, it is a preventable kind of cancer, yet the incidences of women getting affected are high. This elicits a lack of implementation of prevention strategies across the country. Various scientific studies have revealed that early screening and awareness of the HPV vaccine are the two most crucial ways to prevent the cancer. This, in turn, will also help in decreasing the women’s mortality rate due to this cancer.

Early screening test for cervical cancer

Prevention is undoubtedly better than cure, but how to prevent cervical cancer? The simple answer is ‘Early Screening’. It is vital that every woman post-25 must regularly screen for cervical cancer as per the WHO guidelines. Screening tests will not only help to monitor the health of the cervix but will also help to detect any wanted changes within it. This would allow the doctors to provide necessary treatment and prevent these changes from becoming life-threatening cancer. Some of the vital early screening tests for cancer of the cervix include the following:

  • HPV Test: This screening test aims to identify if the cervix is infected with the HPV virus or not. HPV is a potential virus that increases the risk of cervical cancer. This test helps to detect the presence of high-risk or carcinogenic DNA. This, in turn, lets doctors take necessary action to prevent further complications.
  • The Pap (Papanicolaou) Test or Pap smear test: This test investigates the cells collected from the cervix. This test not only helps in identifying cervical cancer but also other conditions like inflammation and infection. A patient can undergo both Pap and HPV tests simultaneously.

Benefits of early screening

These early screening tests will help to safeguard a woman’s life from being preyed on by cervical cancer. It is further crucial as late diagnosis and poor prognosis result in many avoidable deaths. Additionally, the common man must be made aware of the condition and its implications through diverse digital platforms. One such platform is DocTubeTM, where an eminent cancer surgeon, Dr. Shailesh Puntambekar, provides valuable insights regarding cervical cancer and its complications through his videos. This information will let people understand various aspects of the condition and how to cope with it.