Cervical Cancer is on the Decline Worldwide but on the Rise in India

Editor’s Note: We believe that patients are a key part of developing and leading the conversation in disease communities. Patient Worthy sometimes partners with reputable agencies that wish to speak with patients about opportunities related to their diagnosed conditions. These opportunities can include activities such as sharing stories with other patients or health professionals about their diagnosis journey or recording video testimonials. To learn more about how to get involved with an opportunity for cervical cancer patients, click here.

At one time, cervical cancer was a worldwide concern as it headed the list as one of the leading cancers affecting women.

As reported recently by The HealthSite, it has lost this impact due to awareness programs and successful preventive measures.

Although the aforementioned progress is remarkable, it unfortunately does not apply to India where cervical cancer ranks second as the most common cause of death for women.

Where Does It Begin?

Cervical cancer has been found to develop at a point in the uterus that connects to the vagina. The primary cause is human papillomavirus (HPV). It is an infection that is sexually transmitted. The virus may develop into a tumor in the cervix. The infection must be treated, or it can eventually lead to cervical cancer.

Increased Awareness

Perhaps the primary reason that cervical cancer cases have declined worldwide can be attributed to screening programs. HPV testing and Pap smear screenings give women an opportunity to have access to early detection of HPV infection or abnormal cells.

By identifying precancerous and cervical lesions in their early stages, healthcare professionals are able to intervene and provide treatment. Several countries have set up regional and national screening programs for cervical cancer designed for women in certain age groups. These programs are subsidized and available to women at many different socioeconomic levels. Public awareness has played a major role in demystifying the programs and motivating women to seek early detection.

About Vaccination Programs for HPV

 The introduction of HPV Vaccination Programs is a significant part of this ongoing battle to eradicate cervical cancer.

Vaccines are being developed that target high-risk HPV types. They are currently being used successfully. The vaccines are now available in various countries. When these vaccines are administered before exposure to the HPV virus, they can prevent HPV infection and cervical cancer. In this regard, the vaccination of young girls has proven to be successful and attributable in part to the decrease in the number of cases reported.

 Medical Research Options

Medical technology and research advancements have had an enormous impact on treatment allowing a wide range of options for treating cervical cancer. The options for each patient depend on the severity of the cancer. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination approach may be applicable.

Targeted Therapy Drugs

The most common targeted therapy drug that is used to treat cervical cancer is Avastin. Targeted therapies along with immunotherapies are now being researched to treat recurrent or advanced cervical cancer.

After Treatment – Then What?

 There is more to treating patients when confronted with cervical cancer. Support is made available to improve the patient’s quality of life through survivorship programs that address the emotional, physical, and psychological aspects before, during, and after the disease.

It is encouraging to see the progress that is being made in all aspects of dealing with the cancer including helping patients navigate through life after treatment.

The arsenal is getting larger but early detection is always the key. Along with early detection, it is necessary to:

  • Increase awareness
  • Provide accessible screening programs
  • HPV vaccinations
  • Maintain and expand resources to help patients after treatment

The signs of declining cervical cancer mortality rates are continuing. Yet it is essential to continue the pace.

Editor’s Note: We believe that patients are a key part of developing and leading the conversation in disease communities. Patient Worthy sometimes partners with reputable agencies that wish to speak with patients about opportunities related to their diagnosed conditions. These opportunities can include activities such as sharing stories with other patients or health professionals about their diagnosis journey or recording video testimonials. To learn more about how to get involved with an opportunity for cervical cancer patients, click here.

Rose Duesterwald

Rose Duesterwald

Rose became acquainted with Patient Worthy after her husband was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) six years ago. During this period of partial remission, Rose researched investigational drugs to be prepared in the event of a relapse. Her husband died February 12, 2021 with a rare and unexplained occurrence of liver cancer possibly unrelated to AML.

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