Cancer among women in india is major public health concern. Lifestyle changes in previous decades can be considered as driving factor for increasing incidence of cancer among indian women, healthcare workers and professionals. Cervical cancer in the leading cancer among indian women, however it has shown decrease in numbers. It’s a preventable disease commonly developing agent of cervical cancer. Deaths in india due to cervical constitutes about third share of global cervical cancer deaths. Immunizations with cervical cancer vaccine along with routine cancer screening are effective ways to prevent cervical cancer.
Breast cancer is also one of the leading cancer among indian women. Research study has shown that modifiable risk factors can help prevention of breast cancer. Delay in seeking health care increased mortality risk. There has been an increase in breast cancer among urban women. Studies shown that there is social stigma associated with cancer low level of awareness among not only general population but also health care workers.
Ovarian cancer is another dreadful cancer among women in spite of latest developments in treatment modalities. Ovarian cancer incidence is lower than breast cancer and cervical cancer however mortality rate is much higher.
Though there are is National Cancer Registry Program for data collection however these are not effective in collection of adequate data. Data collection on mortality and morbidity related to cancer is limiting factor resulting in failure to formulate appropriate policies. Socioeconomical status, education, reproductive and fertility status of women determines the incidence and prognosis of these cancers. Screening and early detection are critical steps in prevention and overall outcome of any cancer. For practicing screening education and awareness among women is necessary. There are no nationwide screening programs. The women with high risk group are less likely to undergo screening. Estimations have shown that cancers among indian females are more likely to increase than in indian males.
For developing countries like india with limited resources motivation and interest among clinicians and increased awareness among women would prove cost effective strategies to diagnose early and hence prevent and treat cancer. Sound public health policies like education of general population and training of health care workers can take us long way in reducing burden of cancer. Cancer awareness among Indian women is relatively less irrespective of socioeconomic status. Education about modifiable and non-modifiable factors related with cancer is key to prevent cancer related morbidity and mortality among women.
Dr. Nitin A.