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Poonam Pandey Rocks The Spotlight With A Bold Awareness Stunt On Cervical Cancer: Unveiling Precautions, Diagnosis, and Vaccine!

Poonam Pandey faked her death by Cervical Cancer. She did an awareness stunt on Cervical Cancer by her team posting news of her demise due to Cervical Cancer on social media platforms. Which in reality was fake news and she does not have Cervical Cancer. The detailed reason behind her act is said to be to promote HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine as this is the second most common cancer diagnosed in women of India & globally it is the fourth most common cancer in women with 6,04,000 new cases in 2020. About 90% of the 3,42,000 deaths caused by Cervical Cancer occurred in low - and middle-income countries according to WHO's report.

But before moving further on Poonam Pandey and her motive behind it. Let’s have a better understanding about Cervical Cancer. Human Papillomavirus is a common infection transmitted sexually and can affect the skin, genital area and throat. Nearly all sexually active people once in their life get infected by it but, usually without any symptoms. As normally our immune system removes HPV from the body automatically. But regular infection with high risk HPv can cause abnormal cells to develop and can become cancer. Cervical Cancer occurs at the cervix, the lower narrow end of the uterus and connects to the vagina. 

But as we say the more we learn about it, educate society and take prevention, is always better than cure. So some of the Preventions are:

● Creating public awareness, educating the public and providing all the preventive services to society.

● Vaccination drives at the age of 9-14 years of girls and is one of the most effective ways of preventing HPV-related infections.

● Early screening at the age of 30 and 25 in the case of women living with HIV, will help detect HPV cancer.

● Take immediate action in case any symptoms, early detection and treatment can help to cure cervical cancer on time.

Indian Government’s Initiative on Cervical Cancer

The Government of India has recently launched a vaccination programme for girls aged between 9 - 14 years to prevent Cervical Cancer, Under the Nari Shakti and the government will also promote this vaccination amongst the eligible age categories.

The vaccination campaign has been recently launched by Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharamanin recently presented an interim budget of 2024 - 25, aiming for Viksit Bharat by 2047.

Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Although it is difficult to detect Cervical Cancer at an early stage. As symptoms occur usually after the spread of cancer.

The symptoms of cervical cancer may include

● Vaginal bleeding after intercourse

● Vaginal bleeding during periods, or heavy periods & bleeding after menopause.

● Foul smelling watery vaginal discharge

● Pelvic pain especially during intercourse 

Detection of Cervical Cancer

There are some screening tests to go for routine checkups or for early detection of the growth of abnormal cells in the cervix like Pap test, HPV DNA test which includes testing of cells from the cervix for HPV infection.

Cervical Cancer Vaccine

Cervical Cancer is a preventable and curable disease if detected at an early stage. One of the most effective ways of preventing it is through vaccination.

Doctor’s View On Cervical Cancer - Dr Astha Dyal, Lead Consultant Obstetrician Gynecologist Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgeon “So, Cervical Cancer is the second most common cancer of women in India after breast cancer. Generally, if we say over five lakh women in the world are going to have cervical cancer, then one lakh women will be from India. But according to the statistics who are diagnosed with cervical cancer may be 40% - 50% of them will not survive and in India, about 60% will not survive reason being late diagnosis of this cancer. 

The most unfortunate part is that this is preventable cancer and the only cancer in the world which has a vaccine against it. Secondly, it is a very slow-growing cancer and if we do a regular screening with Pap smear and HPV testing we can detect the cancer fifteen years before it forms.

So if the Pap test is showing an abnormal result today, then I know it can become cancer 10-15 years later & if treated right now with a very simple procedure, then it will not become cancer. So it is so preventable and we have so many steps where we can stop it.

So the lack of awareness in our country & expensive vaccines. These are the things that are playing a role where we are not able to control it. 

In most of the developed countries, vaccination to school children is a universal approach & in India a lot of people are not even aware about it.

Only because of the recent social media awareness stunt happened, five people got the vaccine from me. Also, I talk about the vaccine with every patient that comes to me. 

Cervical Cancer has a lot of points where it can be stopped from happening but still because of our ignorance we generally don't take that action”.

Poonam Pandey On Her Fake Death News “I am sorry for whom I have hurt, my intention to shock everyone into the conversation that we are not talking enough about - which is Cervical Cancer. Yes, I faked my demise, extreme I know. But suddenly we all are talking about cervical cancer. It is a disease that silently takes your life and this disease needs the spotlight urgently. I am proud of what my death news has been able to achieve”.

Voice Of Healthcare’s View On The Current Scenario

As a healthcare media platform, we believe that cervical cancer is not something to be ignored or just trending news. It is a serious condition which is preventable with timely vaccination, regular screening and timely treatment. We would not like to see the number of cases and deaths rising in the near future because of cervical cancer anywhere, especially in our country. 

So, we are standing strong in this awareness campaign for cervical cancer with the global strategy of eliminating it by 2030 according to the vision of the World Health Organisation.

5 February 2024


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