Cervical Cancer: The Hot Topic In the Country

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In her interim budget speech for 2024-25, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman emphasized the government’s commitment to actively “promote” vaccination against cervical cancer. Following the recommendation by the National Technical Advisory Group for Immunization (NTAGI) two years prior to include the HPV Vaccine in the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) for women’s health.
Cervical cancer, a significant health concern affecting women worldwide, requires urgent attention and comprehensive strategies for prevention and treatment. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the specifics of cervical cancer, including its symptoms, prevention strategies, and available treatment options, with a focus on empowering women to prioritize their health and well-being.

Understanding Cervical Cancer In Women:

  • It develops in the cells of the cervix, the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina.
  • The primary cause of cervical cancer is infection with high-risk strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection.
  • Cervical cancer typically progresses slowly, starting with precancerous changes that may eventually develop into invasive cancer if left untreated.

Symptoms:

  • Early-stage cervical cancer may not cause any noticeable symptoms.
  • As the cancer progresses, symptoms may include abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods, after intercourse, or after menopause, pelvic pain or discomfort, and abnormal vaginal discharge.
  • Advanced cervical cancer may cause additional symptoms such as weight loss, fatigue, leg pain or swelling, and urinary problems.

Prevention:

  • HPV Vaccination: Vaccination against HPV is a highly effective preventive measure, particularly when administered before the onset of sexual activity. The HPV vaccine is recommended for both boys and girls aged 9 to 26.
  • Regular Pap Smear Tests: Routine cervical cancer screening with Pap smears or HPV tests can detect precancerous changes early, allowing for prompt intervention and treatment.
  • Safe Sexual Practices: Practising safe sex, including consistent condom use and limiting sexual partners, can reduce the risk of HPV infection and subsequent cancer.
  • Smoking Cessation: Smoking increases the risk of cervical cancer. Quitting smoking can help lower the risk of developing cervical cancer and other health complications.

Treatment Options:

  • Treatment depends on the stage and extent of the disease, as well as the individual’s overall health and preferences.
  • In Treatment options may include surgery (such as hysterectomy or removal of lymph nodes), radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these approaches.
  • In early-stage cancer, surgery may cure the disease, while advanced-stage cancer may necessitate a combination of treatments to manage symptoms and slow disease progression.

Conclusion:

Cervical cancer is a significant public health issue, but it is also highly preventable and treatable, especially when detected early through regular screening and vaccination against HPV. By prioritizing preventive measures such as vaccination, regular screenings, and safe sexual practices, women can take proactive steps to protect themselves against it and prioritize their health and well-being. 
As we celebrate International Women’s Day and beyond, let us continue to advocate for women’s health and empower women to take charge of their health journey. 

 

HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY!

 

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