HYDERABAD: It is unfortunate that countries like India could not establish and maintain the pap smear screening, rated as of the successful strategies in the prevention of cervical cancer, due to lack of infrastructure, said Keerti V Shah, professor at John Hopkins University, Maryland, US, while addresing Dr Manohar VN Shirodkar Memorial Lecture.
The lecture was organised by Akademi of Sciences for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh at IICT. Speaking on the theme ‘Cervical cancer screening for India: the task before us,’ Shah highlighted on the immediate need for a screening programme. “According to the 2010 statistics, nearly 1.3 lakh new cases were being reported every year and 70% of them are diagnosed in the stages 3 and 4”, Shah illustrated, adding “20% die in the first year of diagnosis”.
“Pap smear screening can help in detecting the disease at an early stage, further reducing the death rate and countries that were able to set up the screening and a follow-up of treatment with women who had abnormal pap sear have managed to reduce their cervical cancer incidence rate”, he explained.
Keeping a note of the WHO guidelines for the screening of cervical cancer, Keerti Shah spoke of the HPV Assay, believed to be the most effective screening programme and proposed the model to be followed. According to the HPV Assay, cervical cancers are rare before the late thirties and women in late twenties may have a high prevalence of HPV infections most of which are harmless.
Speaking more about the initiation of the programme, Dr Keerti Shah suggested hosting of two screenings covering one lakh women.