This International Women’s Day, Vow to Save Yourself Against the Most Common Cancer Among Women


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According to WHO, less than 3% of all women in India aged 18-69 years are screened for cervical cancer every three years

INDIACSR News Network

Woman ImpowermentNEW DELHI. Since over 100 years, March 8 is celebrated as International Women’s Day (IWD), also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace, around the globe every year, to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.

As the world celebrates another year of women upliftment, experts in India have drawn attention to the pressing need to adopt advanced yet cost-effective techniques to screen for cancer of the cervix, which is the second most common cancer in women worldwide. Director for Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Surgical Oncology at Fortis Healthcare, Dr. Urvashi Jha, who has over 30 years experience in treating women with gynaecological problems, says, “How can we expect India to emerge as a super power, until the women of our country are not able to join hands with the men to march forward on the path to progress? They can only do so if they remain in good health and live long enough. Women’s health is often neglected in our country, a fact again brought to the fore by startling statistics from the World Health Organization – of all Indian women aged 18-69 years, only a meager 2.6% undergo screening every three years for cervical cancer – which is very much a preventable cancer!”

“This is appalling, given the fact that while cervical cancer ranks as the second most common form of cancer in women worldwide, it is in fact the leading form of cancer among women in India with the highest mortality rate. India accounts for one-fourth of all cases of cervical cancer cases around the world”, says Dr. Jha who has been actively involved with the Indian Menopause Society, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Indian Association of Gynae Endoscopists.

Cytology based screening continues to be the mainstay for cervical cancer prevention, including conventional methods like pap smear (Papanicolaou) test, and more advanced Liquid Based Cytology (LBC).

Says Dr.SL Jain, Lab Director, Quest Diagnostics India, “Our vast empirical studies globally concur with medical studies to indicate that early detection is the single-most important factor in determining the long-term survival prospects of patients with cervical cancer. Ideally, a combination of pap or liquid based cytology along with high-risk HPV DNA test gives over 95% accurate diagnosis on cervical cancer in women above 30 years of age. However, liquid based cytology (LBC), which has 84% sensitivity, can also serve as a cost-effective, mass scale routine screening for women, compared to pap smear which has only 58% sensitivity.” Dr. Jain recommends FDA approved LBC tests that are fully automated to improve detection rate and do not require additional specimen for HPV testing.

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