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Cervical cancer 

Context:

  • According to recent reports government is planning to include cervical cancer vaccine in the universal immunisation programme this year.
  • This inoculation campaign targeted at girls in the age group of nine to 14.

About Cervical cancer:

  • It is the second-most common cancer among women in India, mostly affecting the middle-aged.
  • With nearly 1,23,907 new cases and 77,348 deaths in the year 2022, India contributed to nearly one-fifth of the global burden.
  • The main cause of the cervical cancer is the presence of persistent high-risk type of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection.
  • Along with HPV, other co-factors like low socioeconomic conditions, low immunity status, other genital infections, smoking etc, facilitate initiation and progression to cancer.
  • However it is preventable and curable if detected early.
  • Cervical cancer is the only non-communicable disease which can be eliminated and has the potential to make significant contributions to Sustainable Development Goal 3.4 of reducing premature deaths by one third by 2030.
  • The WHO advocates for interventions that are simple, feasible, scalable and are already showing initial successes in so many low or middle income countries (LMICs).
  • WHO’s global strategy incorporates clear targets and means of accountability, along three strategic pillars which include widespread HPV vaccination, screening, and early diagnosis and treatment of cervical pre-cancer and also cancer.
  • Most cervical cancer and pre-cancer cases can be detected in the reproductive age group.
  • Cervical cancer has a long pre-invasive phase which lasts for 10–15 years.
  • This provides a window of opportunity to detect and treat it in pre-invasive stages by simple outpatient treatment modalities, preceded by early detection of cancers.
  • When cervical cancer is detected and managed at an early stage, it is found to have nearly 93 per cent cure rate.
  • Cervical cancer can be prevented through HPV vaccination of girls.

The reasons for the lack of detection in early stages are:

  1. Lack of awareness,
  2. fear of cancer,
  3. early symptoms of disease not being evident, and
  4. women not being screened

The post Cervical cancer appeared first on Vajirao IAS.

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