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India lesion and access to screening. Since,

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India
has a population of 365, 71 million women above 15 years of age, who
are at a risk of developing cervical cancer. (3)

The
present numbers indicate approximately 132,000 new cases diagnosed
and 74000 deaths occur every year in India amounting to around 1/3rd
of the cervical cancer deaths around the globe.(3)

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Indian
women have a 2.5% mounting lifetime risk and 1.4% risk of death from
cervical cancer. During any given period around 6.6% of women in the
general population have been estimated to possess cervical HPV
infection. (3)

70%
of all cervical cancers are caused by HPV type 16& 18(WHO
2011).The virus also causes condyloma (genital warts) through type 6&
11.In all sexes, most HPV infections do not give symptoms but
sometimes they cause changes in the epithelium of the cervix, which
can lead to cervical cancer.(4)

Most
women’s immune systems eliminate HPV infection spontaneously;
however for a very small proportion of women the infection can
persist and can cause precancerous changes in the cells. (5)

Majority
of Indian women diagnosed with cervical cancer have never been
assessed for the disease & approximately 70% of them report in
advance stages owing to the lack of organized screening programmes
for cervical cancer.(5)

Cervical
cancer is amiable to prevention as it has a viral aetiology,
treatable precancerous lesion and access to screening. Since,
cervical cancer screening detects only precancerous and cancerous
changes after they have occurred, HPV vaccination is primary
prevention. (6)

Two
vaccines, one quadrivalent Gardasil(against type 16,18,11,6) &
one bivalent Cervarix (against type 16 & 18) have been developed
which are targeted to girls in age around 11 since the tests of the
vaccine show higher antibody levels in that age group (WHO 2007).(4)

Both
have been shown in several large clinical trials to be safe, well
tolerated and can induce strong immunity against HPV genotypes
incorporated in the vaccine. (6)

Creating
awareness and educating the masses will play a significant role in
the execution of this strategy since preventing cervical cancer with
the help of a vaccine is a fairely recent concept. (7)

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