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According to an ANI report, a survey has revealed that cervical cancer risk is the highest in middle-aged women in India.

Cervical cancer ranks among leading causes of death for women worldwide. Nine in 10 deaths occur in poor and middle-income countries. The disease is caused by the HPV and is transmitted through sexual contact.

According to a report from the SRL Diagnostics, nearly 50 per cent of middle-aged women, which would mean women aged between 45 to 65 were found to have positive cases of HPV – the main virus that causes cervical cancer.

HPV stands for Human Papilloma Virus which is a common group of viruses around the world. While there are more than 100 types of HPV, at least 14 of them are proven to be cancer-causing.

While breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in India, cervical cancer may be a close second. It accounts for one-third of death occurring globally, with the numbers being as high as 74,000.

B.R Das from SRL Diagnostics in a statement issued on Saturday said, “Cervical cancer is also only cancer which is preventable if care is taken in the initial stage”.

He added, “The high mortality rate from cervical cancer globally could be reduced through a comprehensive approach that includes screening, early diagnosis and treatment programmes.”

The HPV virus is transmitted sexually and if proper care is taken, cancer can be prevented easily. Use of contraceptives is essential to avoid transmission of such diseases. Vaccines for HPV are also available and women are recommended to get themselves vaccinated before they become sexually active.

“While Papanicolaou (PAP) test is much more likely to miss precancerous cervical disease, HVP testing is more sensitive for detecting localised infection and marginally less sensitive for distant infection,” Das noted.

(Inputs for media reports)

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