Recently, there was a special bike ride by celebrity cyclists saving 12 women’s lives from cervical cancer. A 5-day, 500-km cycle journey was undertaken as the biggest anti-cervical cancer bike tour and sponsorships and pledges were raised to prevent the senseless deaths of a dozen women from a disease that is treatable through early detection, and avoidable altogether with a series of vaccinations. It also helped in saving families from being torn apart because the efforts save mothers, daughters, and sisters from being claimed by this deadly but preventable disease. The cancer victims were given free vaccinations and the initiative helped in spreading the word on the importance of regular gynecological checkups and living a healthy life.

Even though such initiatives are taken, there are increasing incidences of cervical cancer cases. But the medical field has planned a way out with the adoption of colposcopy procedures that have helped early detection of the condition in women. This procedure is used to detect the cancer of the cervix at an early stage so that it may remain treatable. Many developing countries are now adopting these procedures with increase in the cervical cancer cases. There has been an introduction of low-cost, effective diagnosis known as VIA method – Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid method. It is beneficial because of its simplicity, short learning curve, and the results are easily available. Pap smear tests are not a regular facility in developing countries and there are some inherent disadvantages like delay in getting results and the lack of trained cytopathologists to report on smears.

There has been also a new U.S. study which shows that the tests for HPV or human papilloma virus have strains being linked to¬†. It means that it is unnecessary and women who test positive may be getting extra treatment which may have a risk of complications and side effects. In young women, a positive test gives little information, since HPV is common in women in their 20s and probably won’t lead to cancer, added the researchers. One should know that there are 40 different strains of sexually transmitted HPV and most of the sexually active people get HPV at some point and only a few strains link to cervical cancer while others lead to genital warts. The outcome may be that routine HPV testing at that age could lead to biopsies and cancer treatments that are unnecessary and carry a lot of stress and worry.

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