Walk-in diagnosis of cervical cancer at JIPMER
The month of January is observed as the Cervical Health Awareness month and in connection with that a six-day camp to screen women for cervical cancer was held at the Women and Children block of JIPMER. Cervical cancer is the second common cancer among women besides breast cancer.
This kind of cancer is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). It is possible to screen normal women and also women who are likely to develop this cancer through the Pap test. But because it involves internal examination of private parts of women, they shy off and it’s unfortunate that most of them approach the doctors only at very advanced stages. Women who are menstruating cannot get the test done.
According to sources, the test has been done for 30 years to all the women who come to the OPD. But this week, patients needed no case-sheets. They could just walk-in, register and leave their contact details and get the test done. The screening test is not diagnostic and if the result is found to be positive, the patients would be contacted to get the diagnostic test done. The response has been fairly good and 150 women have come in for the test.
Most of the developed countries have almost eradicated this virus and cancer through effective programmes. In India, because of the huge population and women who are reluctant, even screening has become difficult. Press and e-media needs to spread awareness through effective campaigns.
There are many types of HPV and the vaccines available in the market are effective only against four but its quite costly. It is recommended that women get the test done once in three years until the age of 70 and if identified in a pre-cancerous stage, we can prevent the development of cancer.
Sunitha Devi S
1st M.A. Mass Communication