June 23, 2024

BENGALURU EXPRESS

Truth Triumphs

Bollywood Actress Poonam Pandey’s Tragic Death Sparks Urgency for Cervical Cancer Awareness

Bengaluru, Feb. 2: The tragic passing of Bollywood actress Poonam Pandey due to cervical cancer has reignited concerns about awareness regarding this type of cancer. Medical professionals emphasize that early detection is crucial for taking the necessary steps in treating cervical cancer. Dr. Sreeja Rani V R (Senior Consultant – Obstetrics & Gynaecology), from Kinder Hospital, sheds light on the nuances of cervical cancer. “Cervical screening is a formidable weapon in our arsenal, aiming to identify and address cellular changes before they escalate into cancer,” says Dr. Sreeja Rani. The growth of cervical cancer tends to be gradual, and its severity depends on factors such as size, spread, and overall health. Recognizing the symptoms of cervical cancer is crucial for early detection. Unusual vaginal bleeding, changes in vaginal discharge, pain during sex, and discomfort in the lower back or abdomen are warning signs that should not be ignored.

The cervix, a vital junction between the vagina and the womb, becomes a battleground for cervical cancer. Predominantly impacting women under 45, this cancer poses a threat to anyone possessing a cervix. Driven by certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), nearly all cervical cancers originate from this infection. However, proactive measures, guided by the expertise of doctors, can significantly reduce the risk. To fortify the defense against cervical cancer, Dr. Sreeja Rani advocates two primary preventive measures: cervical screening and HPV vaccination. “Regular HPV testing or Pap smears for women and individuals with a cervix between the ages of 25 and 64 can identify and treat cervical abnormalities early on,” advises Dr. Sreeja Rani. Additionally, children aged 12 to 13 are offered the HPV vaccine, a protective shield against HPV-induced cancers and genital warts.

Beyond medical interventions, adopting certain lifestyle changes can further reduce the risk of cervical cancer. Dr. Sreeja Rani recommends using condoms to decrease the chance of HPV infection, quitting smoking to strengthen the immune system, and maintaining a balanced diet to support overall health. Cervical cancer, armed with awareness and preventive strategies, can be tackled head-on. Dr. Sreeja Rani concludes, “Empowering individuals with knowledge and encouraging proactive healthcare measures are essential steps in the fight against cervical cancer.”

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