Thursday November 14, 2019

Risk of Cervical Cancer Highest in Middle-aged Indian Women

" While PAP test is much more likely to miss precancerous cervical disease, HPV testing is more sensitive for detecting localised infection and marginally less sensitive for distant infection," Das noted

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Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

Nearly 50 per cent of middle-aged women in India were found to have positive cases of high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) — the main risk factor for cervical cancer, says a report from SRL Diagnostics.

Human papilloma virus (HPV) is a group of viruses that are extremely common worldwide. There are more than 100 types of HPV, of which at least 14 are cancer-causing (also known as high risk type).

The virus is mainly transmitted through sexual contact and most people are infected with HPV shortly after the onset of sexual activity.

Two HPV types (16 and 18) cause 70 per cent of cervical cancers and precancerous cervical lesions.

Analysis of HPV test reports of 4,500 women pan-India between 2014 and 2018, showed that women aged between 31 and 45 years had the highest percentage of high-risk HPV at 47 per cent.

This was followed by 30 per cent of women aged between 16 and 30 years being affected by the risk.

Cancer survivor, flickr

Cervical cancer accounts for one-third of all global deaths, with 74,000 deaths occurring annually and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women in India.

However, “cervical cancer is also the only cancer which is preventable if care is taken in the initial stage”, said B.R Das from SRL Diagnostics in a statement issued here on Saturday.

“The high mortality rate from cervical cancer globally could be reduced through a comprehensive approach that includes screening, early diagnosis and treatment programmes,” he added.

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Besides vaccination before girls become sexually active, secondary prevention can be done by regular cervical smear of PAP smear which can pick up any abnormal cells in the cervix before they become cancerous.

“While PAP test is much more likely to miss precancerous cervical disease, HPV testing is more sensitive for detecting localised infection and marginally less sensitive for distant infection,” Das noted. (IANS)

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Here’s Why Complimentary Cancer Therapies Can Cause More Harm

Doctors need to be more proactive about asking their patients what else they are taking when they are being treated for cancer

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Cancer
It is particularly important that patients always check with their doctors first before trying complementary therapies for Cancer that has spread to the skin. Pixabay

A medical expert has said that Cancer patients should tell doctors treating them about the herbal products they may be taking since some ingredients could affect their treatment.

Maria Joao Cardoso, the head breast surgeon at the Champalimaud Cancer Centre in Lisbon, Portugal, said that there was no evidence that herbal therapies or creams worked.

If in doubt, it is best not to take anything, she added.

Garlic, ginger and ginkgo pills, for example, can delay the healing of skin wounds when breast cancer spreads, she said.

“Doctors need to be more proactive about asking their patients what else they are taking when they are being treated for cancer,” Cardoso told the BBC.

She said that it is particularly important that patients always check with their doctors first before trying complementary therapies for cancer that has spread to the skin. This happens in one in five cases of breast cancer, and less in other cancers.

The danger is that many products can interfere with the hormone therapy or chemotherapy treatments, and certain ones prolong the blood clotting process, which can lead to wounds taking longer time to heal and more scarring.

She said that herbal products like green chiretta, feverfew, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, hawthorn, horse chestnut and turmeric slow down clotting.

Cancer
A medical expert has said that Cancer patients should tell doctors treating them about the herbal products they may be taking since some ingredients could affect their treatment. Pixabay

Cardoso said that it is not surprising that patients and their carers go searching for complementary or alternative treatments that might make a difference.

But she said people should know that “they could end up doing more harm than good”.

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“The highest goal in medicine is important to remember: Do no harm,” she said.

As per the website of Cancer Research UK, some complementary therapies might stop conventional treatments working as well as they should. (IANS)