JANUARY’S BREAKTHROUGH; Let’s talk about Cervical Cancer.



BY: Boateng Valice Godstime,

University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho



Cervical cancer is the World’s fourth most prevalent cancer amongst women . The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) defines Cancer as a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. Cancer is always named for the part of the body where it starts, even if it spreads to other body parts later. When cancer starts in the cervix, it is called Cervical cancer. The cervix connects the vagina (birth canal) to the upper part of the uterus. The uterus (or womb) is where a baby grows when a woman is pregnant.


Anyone with a cervix is at risk of developing cervical cancer. It occurs often in people over age 30. Long-lasting infection with certain types of Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer. HPV is a common virus that is passed from one person to another during sex. At least half of sexually active people will have HPV at some point in their lives, but few women will develop cervical cancer. When exposed to HPV, the body’s immune system typically prevents the virus from doing harm. In a small percentage of people, however, the virus survives for years, contributing to the process that causes some cervical cells to become cancer cells.

Common types of cervical cancer are:

Squamous cell carcinoma. This type of cervical cancer begins in the thin, flat cells (squamous cells) lining the outer part of the cervix, which projects into the vagina. Most cervical cancers are squamous cell carcinomas.
Adenocarcinoma. This type of cervical cancer begins in the column-shaped glandular cells that line the cervical canal.

Early-stage cervical cancer generally produces no signs or symptoms. Signs and symptoms of more-advanced cervical cancer include:  Vaginal bleeding after intercourse, between periods or after menopause, bloody vaginal discharge that may be heavy and have a foul odor, pelvic pain or pain during intercourse amongst many.

Recent development  shows India’s first indigenously developed vaccine to prevent cervical cancer is all set. The vaccine, CERVAVAC, will be effective against at least four variants of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Union Minister, Dr. Jitendra Singh announced later in  November, 2022, the completion of the quadrivalent Human Papilloma Virus (qHPV) vaccine. The qHPV vaccine has been developed by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in presence of Mr. Adar C. Poonawalla, Pune and other prominent scientists and dignitaries, Dr Jitendra Singh said, this affordable and cost- effective vaccine.

References: https://www.livemint.com/science/health/india-launches-its-first-cervical-cancer-vaccine-serum-likely-to-keep-cost-rs-200400/amp-11662063534775.html



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