Women with cervical cancer do not seek medical help at the earliest: Study

The United States Congress designated January as Cervical Health Awareness Month. In 2014, 1.2 lakh new cases and 67,477 deaths were reported because of cervical cancer, contributing to 26 per cent and 27 per cent of global incidence and mortality respectively

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According to a five-year study conducted in civic-run Sion hospital with regards to cervical cancer, it was found that women seek medical help too late.  The study, which looked at pap smear test results of 36,100 women who attended gynaecology clinic at the hospital between January 2011 and December 2016 also found out that some younger women in the 35-39 age group too had advanced disease. 

Cervical cancer is considered the second most common cancer worldwide as one in every five women suffer from cervical cancer in India. In 2014, 1.2 lakh new cases and 67,477 deaths were reported because of cervical cancer contributing to 26 per cent and 27 per cent of of global incidence and mortality respectively.

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Professor Dr Niranjan Chavan, said while analysing the risk factors among study’s patients they found that 53 per cent had first sexual contact before the age of 20 years, 85 per cent were users of oral contraceptive pills and 93 per cent were tobacco users. He added that maximum number of women screened belonged to the 30-39 age group (35 per cent) and most of them (66 per cent) had more than two children. He further added that 77 per cent of the 36,100 women that were screened belong to lower socio-economic strata.

Experts also believe that cervical cancer is a preventable disease primarily because of its long lead time as women develop precancerous lesions years before it becomes cancerous. Dr Chavan said that the need to have a robust screening programme should start early for women who are sexually active. 

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