Cancer of the cervix tends to occur during midlife. Half of the women diagnosed with the disease are between 30 and 55 years of age. It rarely affects females under age 15, and approximately 20 percent of diagnoses are made in women older than 65. For this reason, it is important for women to continue cervical cancer screening until at least the age of 70. Some women need to continue screening longer.
Cervical Cancer Situation in India
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide and second most common cancer in women living in less developed regions. World Health Organization (WHO) estimated 530 000 new cases of cervical cancer globally (estimations for 2012), with approximately 270 000 deaths (representing 7.5% of all female cancer deaths). More than 85% of these deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries.
The highest estimated incidence rates for cervical cancer are in sub-Saharan Africa, Melanesia, Latin America and the Caribbean, south-central Asia and south-east Asia.
India has a population of 436.76 million women aged 15 years and older who are at risk of developing cervical cancer. Every year 122844 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 67477 die from the disease (estimations for 2012). In India cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women and also the second most common cancer among women between 15 and 44 years of age.
Nearly all cases of cervical cancer can be attributable to Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. HPV is a group of viruses and one of the causative agents in the sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in men and women with and without clinical lesions. HPV types (16 and 18) cause 70% of cervical cancers and precancerous cervical lesions worldwide.
Based on Indian studies about 82.7% of invasive cervical cancers showed the presence of HPVs 16 or 18 (Systematic reviews and meta-analyses of the literatures by ICO HPV Information Centre)*.
Other epidemiological risk factors for cervical cancer are early age at marriage, multiple sexual partners, multiple pregnancies, poor genital hygiene, malnutrition, use of oral contraceptives, and lack of awareness.
India also has the highest (age standardized) incidence rate as 22 (per 100,000 women per year) of cervical cancer in South Asia (estimations for 2012), compared to 19.2 in Bangladesh, 13 in Sri Lanka, and 2.8 in Iran.
Cervical cancer can be prevented by vaccinating all young females against the HPVs and by screening and treating precancerous lesions in women. In addition if cervical cancer is detected early and treated in earlier stages it can be cured.
AAS NGO Initiative
AAS NGO has been continuously organizing seminars and spreading awareness about Cervical Cancer. AAS has also been helping the victims of Cancer of Cervix to fight the disease and medical assistance.