Human papilloma virus also known as the cervical cancer virus or HPV accounts for upto 75% of all cervical cancers. Cervical cancer is the fifth most prevalent cancer and is caused by sexual transmission of HPV virus. The incidence is maximum in reproductive age group , namely between 30-40 years of age group and peaks by 50 years of age. India has a population of about 300 million women above the age group of 15 years. HPV 16 & 18 account for maximum number of cases of cervical cancer. HPV infection causes CIN1, CIN2,CIN3,CIS,invasive cancers.
The recent most vaccination programme in recommended in age groups 9-44 years and is preventive against 4 HPV’s i.e.HPV 6, 11,16,18. Prolonged use of contraceptives, increased parity, early age of sexual activity, multiple sex partners, tobacco smoking and co-infection with STD’s have been identified as established cofactors for cervical and precervical cancers. 70% of all adults are likely to be infected with at least one HPV type. Vast majority of the infections resolve spontaneously and only a few of the HPV infections progress to cancer.
The lifetime risk for genital HPV is 60–80% and genital warts is approximately 3-5%. Large scale screening programmes like pap smears are practically to implement in developing countries , hence cervical cancer screening should be carried out more effectively. The only effective way is to reach out to schools and encourage adolescent girls into cervical cancer vaccination.
Dr. Ruchi Tandon has visited numschools ands and corporate organizations in Delhi -NCR to help the cervical cancer vaccination drive. She firmly believes that effective immunization can significantly help in reducing prevalence of cervical cancer.