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Cervical and ovarian cancers are the most common gynaecologic cancers in India: Dr Neha Kumar

Yash Ved, Mumbai
Saturday, November 7, 2020, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Cervical and ovarian cancers are the most common gynaecologic cancers in India and although cervical cancer is on a declining trend, it remains the second most common cancer in women after breast cancer, stated Dr Neha Kumar, senior consultant, gynaecology, BLK Super Speciality Hospital, Mumbai.
 
Dr Neha Kumar added that due to the lack of awareness and formal screening programs, many women present in advanced stages of this disease.

Some preventive measures that can be taken to keep gyanocologic cancers at bay includes lifestyle modification, regular screening with pap smear once in every 3 years, HPV testing for cervical cancers once in every 5 years, vaccination for cervical cancer to the girls between the age of 9-11 years but can be given anytime up to the age of 26 years and avoiding nulliparity to prevent endometrial cancers.

Gynaecologic oncology is a specialized field of medicine that focuses on cancers of the female reproductive system, including ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, vaginal cancer, cervical cancer, and vulvar cancer.

Cervical cancer is a cancer arising from the cervix due to the abnormal growth of cells that have the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body. Symptoms may include abnormal vaginal bleeding, postmenopausal bleeding, discharge per vaginum, back pain or pelvic pain.

The incidence of ovarian cancer has been increasing in the past decade and it ranks as the third most common cancer in Indian women. Other gynecologic cancers include endometrial (uterine) cancer, vulvar cancer (cancer of the female external genitalia) and vaginal cancer.

“Over the years, there have been several advances in the field of gynaecologic oncology, be it surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. These have changed the outcomes of women suffering from gynaecologic cancers dramatically. From diagnosis to decision making, minimal access surgeries to highly complex surgeries, postoperative management to long term follow up, the role of gynaecologic oncologist is becoming paramount,” stated Dr. Kumar.

Dr. Kumar added that many cancers, including gynaecologic cancers, are curable if detected early. With recent advances and multimodality treatment, the outcomes of patients – even those with advanced stages, have improved considerably over the years.
 
“Women themselves are unaware of the early signs and symptoms or at times feel embarrassed to consult a doctor, and there remains a stigma associated with these diagnoses in some quarters. This reticence needs to be overcome and a more positive message of awareness should be shared in public for prevention, screening, treatment and care of gynaecological cancers,” stated Dr Kumar.

 

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