What women need to know about cervical cancer
Dimapur, Feb. 20 (EMN): India is the capital of cervical cancer where every seven minutes one Indian woman dies. According to the World Health Organisation 4 52,000 new cases are detected every year. This was informed by Dr. Mhasiseno T Belho, a gynaecologist at Dr. Belho’s clinic in Dimapur.
Belho was addressing a seminar on breast cancer and cervical cancer organised by a group called the Inner Wheel Club of Dimapur.
Belho said every woman is at risk for cervical cancer. It is the number-one cancer for women in India, it was informed.
The gynaecologist informed the participants that those who have multiple sexual partners, sexual contact before 18 years of age, or who had contact with a woman with cervical cancer, was at risk. Also, those with a family history of the disease, or immune deficiency, several pregnancies/births at a young age, smoking, long-term use of oral contraceptive pills, and gene abnormalities are also at risk, it was informed.
Cervical cancer, she said, can be prevented by being proactive through getting screened regularly and acting quickly when symptoms appear, which greatly reduces the risks involved. Further, regular checkups, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccines and PAP smear / Liquid Based Cytology (LBC) tests can be had.
Further, she said that the HPV was a virus that can spread through sexual contact and up to 90% of cervical cancers show evidence of HPV infection.
A radiologist at Nikos Hospital, Dr. Khushboo Agarwal also addressed topics of breast cancer. She said cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in woman and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women.
“On average, every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer and one woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes. However, death rates are declining with early detection and increased awareness,” Agarwal said.
The breast cancer risk increases as a woman gets older, and it can be heredity. However, pregnancy and breastfeeding are protective against breast cancer, Agarwal said. The other risk factors, she said, are obesity, diet (fat and alcohol), lack of physical activity, stress, radiation exposure, history of cancer (breast, uterus, cervix, ovary); hormones (estrogens in hormone replacement therapy and birth control pills); and genetic causes.
Further, Agarwal said, according to the World Health Organisation, two components of early detection have been shown to improve cancer mortality—education which in turn helps people recognise early signs of cancer and seek prompt medical attention; and screening programs, which are a great tool in helping to identify early cancer or pre-cancer before signs are recognisable including mammography for breast cancer.