iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide and the second most common cancer in women living in less developed regions.
World Health Organization (WHO) estimated 530,000 new cases of cervical cancer globally, with approximately 270 000 deaths. More than 85% of these deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries.
Cervical cancer is a preventable disease as it has a well-defined, long pre-malignant phase which can be detected by regular screening tests and follow-up. Unfortunately, most women in India are not aware of the screening.
In India, many women seek treatment only after cancer has already advanced, making treatment and recovery difficult.
In order bring awareness, the Association of American Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) has taken a step to prevent death due to ignorance and negligence from the symptoms of cervical cancer does not happen.
For this reason, on the upcoming Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) 2022, AAPI is planning to initiate a campaign in India on January, which is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month.
“At AAPI, in keeping with our efforts and initiatives to educate and create awareness on disease prevention, we are planning to focus on bringing awareness of Cervical Cancer in India during the upcoming Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) 2022 at the Hotel Avasa in Hyderabad, India from January 5th to 7th, 2022,” said the Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, President of AAPI.
Unlike women in developed economies that are part of regular screening programs that catch cervical cancer early on, women in India do not take part in regular screenings. The stigma or shame attached with pelvic examinations in India has a huge role to play here.
The theme for the upcoming GHS 2022 is: ‘Prevention Better than Cure.”, said Dr. Ravi Kolli, President-Elect of AAPI.
Since disease like Cervical Cancer are preventable, “one of our preventive campaign goals this year is to provide education and prevention of Cervical Cancer in India,” said Dr. Kolli.
According to The American Cancer Society, Cervical Cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women. However, due to early interventions, the death rate dropped significantly with the use of the Pap test for screening.
Vaccines today can protect women against cervical cancer. Such vaccines are available for girls and women between 9 to 26 years. The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is known to be most effective when given to girls before they become sexually active. Cervical cancer can also be caught early with the help of regular screenings.
“If vaccination programs are effectively implemented, approximately 90 percent of invasive cervical cancer cases worldwide could be prevented, in addition to the majority of precancerous lesions,” said Dr. Udhaya Shivangi, Chair of AAPI GHS 2022.
He added, “We want to sponsor a minimum of 100 free vaccines among High School children during our Global Healthcare Summit.”
Quoting research studies, Dr. Kusum Punjabi, Chair of AAPI BOT, said, “Cervical cancer could be the first cancer EVER in the world to be eliminated, if: 90 % of girls are vaccinated; 70% of women are screened; and, 90% of women with cervical disease receive treatment. GHS 2022 will be a forum to educate and create awareness about this deadly disease that can be prevented.”
“AAPI’s this new initiative will help save millions of lives in India” Dr. Meher Medavaram, a key organizer of GHS 2022 pointed out.
“In addition to Cervical cancer, GHS 2022 will also focus on: Chronic diseases which can be prevented- notably diabetes, cardiovascular, hypertension, COPD, oncology, maternal and infant mortality, Management of neurological emergencies ENLS a certification course are only some of those that are going to be covered during this Summit,” said Dr. Anjana Samadder, Vice President of AAPI.
While elaborating the objectives of the Summit, Dr. Satheesh Kathula, Secretary of AAPI, says, “This innovative Summit is aimed at advancing the accessibility, affordability and the quality of world-class healthcare to the people of India. Among other areas, the Summit will focus on prevention, diagnosis, treatment options and share ways to truly improve healthcare transcending global boundaries.”
Dr. Krishan Kumar, Treasurer of AAPI said, “Through Continuing Medical Education and non-CME seminars by experts in their fields, AAPI will provide comprehensive and current reviews and guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of various disease states to reduce morbidity and mortality and achieve cost-effective quality care outcomes.”
“Together we can all bring the awareness in the community to prevent Cervical Cancer in India which is 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths in women,” said Dr. Gotimukula.