Cervical cancer has become the second most common cancer due to which women are dying. And a simple vaccination can cure it. The number of women diagnosed with breast cancer every year worldwide is expected to almost double from 1.7 million in 2015 to 3.2 million, and cervical cancer is predicted to rise by at least 25 per cent to over seven lakh by 2030, mostly in low and middle income countries (LMICs).
Every year, eight lakh women die of cervical and breast cancer. Two thirds of breast cancer deaths and nine out of 10 deaths from cervical cancer occur in LMICs. As per cancer registries, the incidence of cervical cancer is second highest in Punjab after breast cancer. Mansa and Bathinda districts have the highest incidence of the disease. According to the National Centre for Disease Informatics Research, and National Cancer Registry Programme reports, incidence of cervical cancer is highest in Bathinda at 17.5, followed by Mansa 17.3.
The incidence in Faridkot is 14.6, Sri Muktsar Sahib 12.7, Mohali 12, Sangrur 11.1, Moga 10.2, Fatehgarh Sahib 10, Amritsar 9.7, Ludhiana 9.4, Jalandhar 9.1, Roop Nagar 8.1, Kapurthala 8, and Hoshiarpur 7.3. Given the rising burden of the killer disease, the state government of Punjab has decided to include HPV vaccine in the state immunization programme.
Dr Baldeep Singh, MD (Paediatrics), managing director, Deep Hospital, Model Town, Ludhiana, says: “There are significant numbers of cervical cancer cases being recorded in the state since the past few years. NGOs with government help are trying to introduce this vaccine at an affordable cost at the earliest. The initiative of the government is well appreciated for deciding to introduce HPV vaccine in immunization schedule. The vaccine efficacy is best seen if administered to girls from 10 years onwards.” Cervical cancer can be prevented through HPV vaccination, an efficacious and safe preventive option. HPV vaccine, especially if given to girls of age group of 9-13, can help protect against cervical cancer. This vaccination is can be given to girls from the age of 10 to a maximum of 45. But the most effective is when given at a young age. While In Australia, the vaccinationit is given to males also, but it has not been applied in India yet.