Campaigning for Cervical Cancer Awareness

Dr Suchika Gupta, Managing Director, HERD Foundation takes charge as campaign partner for ‘Chance to Change’, an awareness and early detection program for cervical cancer undertaken by Alexis Hospital. HERD Foundation partners for this much-needed initiative to draw attention to the need to detect cervical cancer which is curable in early stages. Dr Suchika Gupta, well known as an avant garde professional in the medical fraternity, takes up the issue with alacrity.

It is definitely a significant step to encourage women, especially in rural areas, to shed their fear and understand that early detection is important in controlling the disease. The task is to convince women of the necessity to build up their awareness of cervical cancer. HERD Foundations wants to ensure this through the partnership campaign to stop the disease from going malignant. This is why it is important to encourage women to go in for examination and check-ups starting with the simple first procedure – a Pap smear.

Cervical cancer is the fourth-most common cause of cancer and deaths from cancer in women. It is the second-most common cause of female-specific cancer after breast cancer. The median age at diagnosis is 48! Although less common than endometrial cancer and ovarian cancer, the rates of new cases is increasing. Even so cervical cancer deaths are decreasing due to widespread Pap smear screenings.

It is important to inform women that this is a manageable disease if detected early on. Cervical cancer is one of the few types of cancer that can be prevented or detected early on. In some of the more common forms of cancers prevalent in Vidarbha like oral cancer and breast cancer, it is cervical cancer that is affecting women patients in the region as per the registry data collected by RST Regional Cancer Hospital.

Cervical Cancer affects the cervix or the lower part of uterus. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus or womb, and is connected to the upper vagina.  It is the structure that dilates during childbirth to allow the baby to come out of the birth canal. This is the area where cervical cells are most likely to become cancerous. Cervical cancer develops when abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix begin to multiply out of control and form pre-cancerous lesions. If not successfully treated at an early stage, cervical cancer is capable of spreading through the bloodstream or the lymphatic system to parts of the body away from the uterus.

Any abnormal bleeding, unusually heavy bleeding, unusual heavy discharge, pelvic pain, pain during urination or bleeding between regular menstrual periods, after sexual intercourse, douching, or even a pelvic examination could be signs of the problem. One therefore would need to consult a doctor.  As we all know prevention is better than cure. Prevention is very important for this cancer and early detection more so.

HERD Foundation is therefore taking part in this program so that we can pitch in to lay more stress on the public education aspect of cervical cancer awareness and treatment. Regular medical care allows doctors to evaluate risks of developing cervical cancer. A routine Pap smear screening may help detect cervical cancer in its earliest, most curable stage. The goal of cervical cancer treatment is to permanently cure the cancer to bring about complete remission of the disease. HERD Foundation wishes all women – urban and rural, to stay healthy and cancer-free.

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