India has Highest Burden of Cervical Cancer: Report

India has Highest Burden of Cervical Cancer: Report

Cervical cancer has been one of the most common diseases amongst women and as per the GLOBOCON 2018 data, this is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide, contributing to an estimated 570000 cases and about 311000 deaths from the disease.

The data stated that India have the highest burden of cervical cancer cases in the world with an estimated 96,000 new cases and 60,000 deaths every year. This is really pathetic as cervical cancer is a disease which takes almost one to two decades to develop and during its precancerous phase it can be easily detected by the help of simple tests. Women who are detected in their precancerous stage can be easily treated with almost 100% cure rate in spite of this every eight minutes, one woman in our country dies due to cervical cancer.

It is high time now that countries all over the world should join hands to fight this disease. WHO has set the target to maintain the incident rate of cervical cancer to four per 100,000 women by 2030. It must be mentioned that currently in our state we have an incident rate of 14.2 per lakh of population as per the population based cancer registry of Kamrup Urban District. To achieve this goal WHO's strategy will rest on three main pillars:

  • prevention through vaccination
  • screening and treatment of precancerous lesions
  • treatment and palliative care for invasive cervical cancer

Based on the three key pillars of the global strategy, WHO recommends a set of targets or milestones that each country should meet by 2030 to get on the path to eliminate cervical cancer within the century:

  • 90% of girls fully vaccinated with the HPV vaccine by the age of 15;
  • 70% of women screened using a high-performance test by the age of 35, and again by the age of 45; and
  • 90% of women identified with cervical disease receive treatment (90% of women with pre-cancer treated and 90% of women with invasive cancer managed).

Cervical Cancer: Symptoms and Signs

In the early stage it may be totally asymptomatic, but when the symptom appears, women generally complains of:

  • Blood spots or light bleeding between or following periods.
  • Menstrual bleeding that is longer and heavier than usual.
  • Bleeding after intercourse, douching, or a pelvic examination.
  • Increased vaginal discharge.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Bleeding after menopause.
  • Unexplained, persistent pelvic and/or back pain

The WHO in its 73rd World Health Assembly meeting will pass the resolution to formally launch the Global Strategy for Cervical Cancer elimination on November 17. On this historic day, around 194 countries all over the world will officially join together in their journey to achieve the goal of Cervical Cancer elimination by 2030, for a disease which is highly preventable and curable. It has become an important priority at this juncture that in spite of the COVID pandemic, countries around the world have joined hands to fight this disease and eliminate it.

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