Slide 1 Slide 1 Slide 2 Slide 2

Cervical Cancer Screening & Vaccine  

Why should anyone go for cervical cancer screening?

Cervical cancer is a major public health problem in India and the most common cause of cancer deaths among women in India. It is the easiest cancer to prevent with regular screening and follow up. Unless preventive measures are taken immediately, the number of deaths from this cancer will rise substantially in the next few decades.

Why should the women be screened without any symptoms?

At the early stage the women normally do not present with any complaints as such and only the screening tests can detect the disease. So the screening test is done on apparently normal women.

Whats the age group for screening and how often should they be followed up?

An Indian group of experts recommended that the ideal age for screening should be 30 to 59 years. If screening is normal atleast every three years is ideal. In cases of high risk patients every 6 months to one year or as advised by the gynaecologist.

What are the tests available?

• The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for precancers, cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately. • The HPV test looks for the virus (human papillomavirus) that can cause these cell changes.

Is it preventable and how?

Yes, For those who are sexually active, condoms may lower the chances of getting HPV. Other things which can reduce the risk are avoiding multiple partners and HPV vaccination .

Parent talk

Does your daughter need the HPV vaccine to help protect against cervical cancer?

Here are some of the fact for youth

What are the Vaccines available?

FDA approved vaccines called Cervarix and Gardasil are available in the market. The human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine prevents cervical cancer and genital warts.

Who should be given vaccine? what is the schedule?

Ideally females should get the vaccine before they become sexually active and exposed to HPV. It is advisable to take vaccine as early as 12 yrs onwards.Its given as three doses at o,1, 6th month deep intramuscular in thigh or upper arm.

Can it be given in pregnancy?

No . The vaccine is not recommended for pregnant ladies as more research is needed. If taken just before pregnancy the other doses should be skipped.

What are the contraindications for vaccination?

• Patients with history of immediate hypersensitivity to vaccine components like yeast which is used in its production. • Patients with moderate or severe acute illnesses where vaccination can be postponed.

How long does vaccine protection last?

Research suggests that vaccine protection is long-lasting. Current studies have followed vaccinated individuals for six years, and show that there is no evidence of weakened protection over time.

Will girls and women who have been vaccinated still need cervical cancer screening?

Yes, vaccinated women will still need regular cervical cancer screening (Pap tests) because the vaccines protect against most but not all HPV types that cause cervical cancer. Also, women who got the vaccine after becoming sexually active may not get the full benefit of the vaccine if they had already been exposed to HPV.

Are there other ways to prevent cervical cancer?

Regular cervical cancer screening and follow-up can prevent most cases of cervical cancer. The Pap test can detect cell changes in the cervix before they turn into cancer.