Hyderabad: Improving the screening facilities for cervical cancer, by opting for self-testing units within the community rather than clinic-based testing, is very important in India, said Dr Keerti V. Shah of the John Hopkins University at the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology.
HPV Assay is the new technique that the scientist at CCMB are looking at. Various studies, conducted between 2000 and 2010, have shown that most women are not willing to come forward for cervical cancer screening at clinics.
Every year in India, 1,26,000 new cases of cervical cancer are detected. Seventy per cent of the cases diagnosed are in stages three and four.
Cervical cancer is because of the human papilloma virus, which has 130 types, and is present in the genital tract. There are 12 types of HPVs that can cause cancer and the most aggressive are HPV 16 and HPV 18.
Dr Shah said, “As the disease manifests over decades, an effective screening method would help identify and treat the disease in early stages. If a large number of women are tested early, there is a chance to identify the pre-cancerous stage too.”
HPV is also known to cause penile cancer, vulvar and vaginal cancer, oropharyengal cancer, skin warts and also larynx warts.
Evidence has shown that early testing encouraged in the community through self-testing methods can help to reduce the burden of the disease and also save lives.