India alone accounts for one-fourth of the global burden of cervical cancer, with nearly 17% of cancer-related deaths. This was found out by a joint study prepared by ASSOCHAM-National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR).
Since the cancer incidence is quite common in Indian women, it is solicits great awareness among the general public. Through this blog, we intend to answer most of your FAQs about cervical cancer.
What is cervical cancer? What part of body does it affect?
Cervical cancer is a cancer that afflicts the mouth of the lower part of the uterus (womb). It is caused by the abnormal growth of cells that can invade or spread to other parts of the body.
What causes cervical cancer?
This type of cancer is caused by several factors that contribute to the manifestation of this disease.
- • Human papillomavirus
- • Active or passive smoking
- • Oral contraceptives
- • Multiple pregnancies
What are the most common symptoms to look out for?
There are several symptoms that manifest themselves at an early stage and could be indicative of cervical cancer. These include:
- • Abnormal vaginal bleeding, usually post-coital
- • Vaginal discomfort
- • Foul-smelling discharge
- • Dysuria (discomfort while urinating)
- • Irregularities in menstrual cycle
- • Post-menopausal bleeding
- • Pelvic pain/lower back pain
- • Constipation/Vaginal fistula (during advanced stages of cancer)
Why is early detection of cervical cancer so important?
Early detection of cervical cancer can help successfully treat the condition at it’s earliest stages. It is one of the most curable cancers and early detection can happen through a pap ear test. It can even detect a cancer as early as 10 years before the actual cancer develops.
How can I know if my symptoms point towards a cervical cancer diagnosis? Is there a test for this?
If you have any or several of the above-mentioned symptoms, it is recommended that you undergo a test called pap smear. This five-minute screening test is a regular, non-invasive and painless pelvic exam, where a small sample of cells is removed from your cervix and sent to the lab for checking abnormalities.
Apart from this, there are other tests to be done along with the pap smear, such as RBS, CUE, TSH and CBP. You might also need to consult with an expert gynecologist.
At what age should I take a pap smear test?
Cervical cancer is most likely to affect women between the ages 19-49. It may also affect women at an older age, post-menopause. It is recommended that you take a pap smear one in every 3 years to help in early detection of the condition.
Is there a vaccine for this disease? At what age can I take the vaccine?
Yes, you can the HPV vaccine to secure yourself from this disease. It is an child/adult vaccine that can be taken between the ages 9-45 years of age. However, it is still recommended to get frequent screening tests done, even if you are properly vaccinated, as some types of the HPV virus might still affect you.
What are the other precautions I can take to prevent cervical cancer?
You can take several precautions for reducing your risk of cervical cancer. These include:
- • Get a pap smear screening test every once in 3 years
- • Get HPV vaccine
- • Quit smoking if you do
Cervical cancer is a 100% preventable condition, if and only if detected early. You can be in charge of your own health and do the right thing by getting yourself tested. So, visit us at FemCity between 24th September and 7th October and get all the tests done at just Rs. 999. Consultation also included.
Walk in or schedule appointment now! Call us 040 6780 6780, 733 733 6780