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Cervical Cancer Screening is Essential for Women- Here’s Why

  • January 24,2022
  • 2 Min Read
Cervical Cancer Screening is Essential for Women- Here’s Why

India sees more than 1 lakh new cases of cervical cancer every year.*

Cancer of the cervix (a part of the uterus) is a major health concern for women. This cancer is caused by a virus - the human papillomavirus (HPV).

SCREENING FOR CERVICAL CANCER

There are 3 major modalities for cervical cancer screening:

  • HPV DNA testing
  • Cytology (also known as PAP smear)
  • Co-testing (this is a combination of HPV testing and cytology)

There are also 2 types of cytology testing:

  • Conventional PAP smear
  • Liquid-based cytology (LBC)

Of the two, liquid-based cytology is superior to conventional PAP smear.

 

CERVICAL SCREENING GUIDELINES BY THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF GYNECOLOGISTS

Age

Modality of screening

Recommended screening interval

21 to 29 years

HPV DNA testing

Not recommended in this age group

Co-testing

Cytology

Every 3 years

30 to 65 years

HPV DNA testing

Every 5 years

Co-testing

Cytology

Every 3 years

 

After the age of 65 years:

  • When to test-

    • If you have not had any screening done before the age of 65 years.

    • If you are immunocompromised.

    • If you have a history of cervical cancer or high-grade precancerous lesion in the past.

  • When not to test-

    • If you have an adequate negative screening history (at least 2 consecutive co-testing screenings or 3 consecutive negative cytology screenings in the past 10 years).

HPV VACCINATIONS

Vaccines against HPV are also available. 

Even though the recommended age for vaccination is less than 14 years, the vaccine can be given to women up to the age of 26 years.

Women, who have been vaccinated, are still recommended periodic screening.

WITH TIMELY TESTING AND ADEQUATE VACCINATION, WE CAN MAKE INDIA CERVICAL CANCER-FREE!

**ICO/IARC information centre on HPV and cancer (HPV information centre). India Human papillomavirus and related cancers, fact sheet 2021.

 

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