Cervical cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in India. A mother’s awareness about the symptoms and risk factors has an immense impact on her daughter’s knowledge and attitude towards the cancer, according to Dr. D. Leela, gynaecology oncologist of Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (HBCH&RC).
As key decision-makers, mothers play an important role in health interventions to promote both cervical cancer screening and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, Dr. Leela said at an ongoing initiative for screening mother-daughter pairs of Visakha Vimala Vidyalayam at Pedagantyada here on Friday.
Women and their adolescent daughters were selected for screening as they form a target population at high risk of contracting cervical cancer.
The women, aged 30 years and above, were screened for breast and cervical cancer.
Their daughters, in the age group of 10 to 14 years, were given two doses of HPV vaccination, at an interval of six months while those above 15 were given three doses at 0, 2 and 6 month-intervals to protect them against HPV infection, thereby preventing cervical cancer, Dr. D. Leela said.
Dr. D. Raghunatha Rao, Director of HBCH&RC, said that the situation in rural areas was alarming as a majority of women are illiterate and ignorant about the hazards of cervical cancer. “The problem is further compounded by of the lack of access to healthcare,” Dr. Raghunatha Rao said.
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