NICPR organized a twitter chat on Cervical Cancer Awareness on World Cancer Day . It was facilitated by GHS (Global Health Strategies). Queries/Questions on different aspects of cervical cancer were answered. Cervical cancer is the cancer of the mouth of uterus. It is the second leading cause of women cancer in India. Around 96922 new cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed and 60078 died due to it in 2018. In 80-90 % of the cases it is caused by Human Papilloma Virus infection. There is a long gap period between the entry of the virus and the onset of the disease . Intervention during this period makes it a preventable disease by regular screening and early detection. Unfortunately most women in India are not aware of it and women come at the stage when nothing much can be done. Considering it NICPR has designed an India-specific web portal (http://cancerindia.org.in/) India Against Cancer which gives comprehensive information on the common cancers found in India.
The important symptoms of the disease are abnormal vaginal bleeding, bleeding and spotting between the periods, unusually longer or heavier periods, bleeding after menopause, unusual or excessive vaginal discharge with foul smell, vaginal bleeding after having sexual intercourse, pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic pain during sexual intercourse The various risk factors of cervical cancer are having multiple partners, partner having multiple partners, initiation of sexual activity at an young age, multiple deliveries (childbirth), having medical problems lowering immunity. It can be prevented by avoiding these risk factors, regular screening and preventive vaccines. Preventive HPV vaccines are recommended for girls aged 9-14 years before initiation of sexual activity. Vaccines do not guarantee complete prevention, screening every three year for women aged 30 - 65 is still recommended.The screening is done by pap test / VIA test. These are painless, OPD procedure,hardly take few minutes. If found positive, patient is kept under follow up or managed as per the abnormality detected.