Else where

Else where

A woman must put herself first, say doctors

Indu (48) complained of intense pelvic pain, after which she was advised to undertake the PAP examination. Her reports showed signs of HPV infection, indicating Stage II cervical cancer. Indu was fortunate to survive the cancer because of early detection. However, scores of women in India lose their lives every year due to ignorance, says doctors.

“After breast cancer, cervical cancer is the second largest cancer diagnosed in women in metros,” says Dr Kanika Gupta, senior consultant and oncologist.
What makes cervical cancer so dangerous and unpredictable is its asymptomatic nature. The cancer, in its early stages, does not show symptoms and whatever symptoms are visible are generally neglected by a majority of women. The disease is widespread among women above the age of 40.

The primary symptoms of cervical cancer include abnormal vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain and disturbance in the menstrual cycle. The symptoms are generally mistaken as post-menstrual symptoms or ovulation pains.

The cause of cervical cancer is determined to be Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which results in the growth of abnormal cells in the cervix. The HPV virus is a skin virus, which causes genital warts. “Sexual intercourse with multiple partners and improper hygiene could trigger the spread of the virus,” says Dr Arun Kumar Goel, surgical oncologist.

Women should opt for a PAP screening regularly. According to Dr Dinesh Singh, radiation oncologist, women are equally prone to cancer as men, but cervix cancer which accounts for close to 20 per cent of cancers reported in women is preventable.

Breast cancer, which also accounts for close to 20 per cent of cancers reported in women, is amenable to treatment following early detection, he adds.

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