'India tops in cervical cancer deaths'

Alarming figures

'India tops in cervical cancer deaths'

With nearly 73,000 women dying every year, India now tops the world in cervical cancer deaths according to a report released on Friday by a US-based research and advocacy group.

India represents 26.4 per cent of all women dying of cervical cancer globally, with China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia and Thailand also showing high death incidence, says the “Cervical Cancer Global Crisis Card” released by the Cervical Cancer-Free Coalition.

According to the report card, cervical cancer kills an estimated 275,000 women every year and 500,000 new cases reported worldwide. This entirely preventable disease is the second largest cancer killer of women in low and middle-income countries, with most women dying in the prime of life, it said.

Using data from the WHO, United Nations, the World Bank and IARC Globocan, the Crisis Card has ranked 50 countries in the descending order of cancer mortality rates. India, China, Brazil, Bangladesh and Nigeria represent more than half of the “global burden of cervical cancer deaths,” says the US based body basing its study on global rankings.

Recent data released by India’s Health Ministry based on the National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP) report in 2009 the number of cervical cancer cases were 101,938 which has increased to 107,690 in 2012. In Uttar Pradesh a total of 17,367 cases were reported in 2009 and it increased to 18692 in 2012. After Uttar Pradesh the number of cases of cervical cancer in 2012 which has shown an increasing trend are Maharashtra (9892), Bihar (9824), West Bengal (8396), Andhra Pradesh (7907), Tamil Nadu (7077) and others.

“Cervical cancer can happen to anyone. Certain women are at greater risk. These include women who started sexual activity at an early age,  had multiple partners themselves, or their partners have multiple partners,” said Dr Neerja Bhatla, Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).  It is being estimated that the number of cervical cancer cases and deaths are estimated to increase by 2025 to 203,757 and 115,171, respectively.

Strengthening of government medical college and erstwhile regional Cancer Centres (RCC) across the country as Tertiary Cancer Centre (TCC) for providing comprehensive Cancer care was also undertaken as well as campaigns are carried out through print and electronic media, he said.

Fact file

* Cervical cancer kills an estimated 275,000 women every year
* In India nearly 73,000 die every year
* 500,000 new cases reported worldwide
* It is the second largest cancer killer of women in low and middle-income countries

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