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Home News and Update Year 2009 Project to Fight Cervical Cancer

Project to Fight Cervical Cancer

Times of India
22 April 2009
Kolkata, India

Cervical cancer claims lives of around 300,000 women worldwide every year. Around a fourth of these patients are from India.

According to WHO estimates, around 130,000 new cases are reported in India every year, of which, some 8,000 are from West Bengal alone.

Now, a partnership between Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) and QIAGEN could prevent many cervical cancer deaths. QIAGEN, a leading sample and assay organization, has entered into a partnership with CNCI to screen women for cervical cancer.

“Some 80% of patients detected with gynaecological cancers at Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute alone suffer from cervical cancer. The magnitude could be much more if women across the state are properly screened. The partnership with QAIGEN can create awareness and its prevention and treatment,” said Dr Jaydip Biswas, director of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute. Though the disease is curable if detected on time, it is often detected at an advanced stage in 80% of patients, primarily due to lack of awareness.

“This project is part of QIAGEN's move to shoulder corporate responsibility. It will involve community education, free screening for about 50,000 women, treatment and proper follow up. Though QAIGEN has taken up similar projects elsewhere in India, the Kolkata project is the biggest so far,” announced QAIGEN's Asia president Dr Victor Shi.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the primary cause of cervical cancer. Women who are sexually very active from a young age and have multiple sexual partners are easy prey.

“Women, specially in rural areas, are reluctant to go through the screening for cervical cancer as it involves a gynaecological examination,” said Dr Partha Basu, head of gynaecological oncology department in CNCI.

Under the project, women in rural areas will be screened for HPV at the community-based mobile field clinics. Those detected with cervical cancer and those at the pre- cancer stage will be either treated there and then or referred to CNCI.

The combination of screening and prevention technologies like HPV testing, HPV vaccination pap smear and visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) test could prevent the disease with almost 100% success.

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