There were 8,534 estimated cases of cervical cancer (incidence) in Tamil Nadu in 2023, according to data from the Government of India.
Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Satya Pal Singh Baghel, in response to unstarred questions on cervical cancer raised by Member of Parliament D. Ravikumar, said that a population-based initiative for prevention, control and screening for common Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, hypertension and common cancers was rolled out under the National Health Mission and as a part of the Comprehensive Primary Health Care programme. Under the initiative, persons aged over 30 are targeted for screening for three common cancers — cervical, breast and oral. Screening for these cancers was an integral part of service delivery under the Ayushman Arogya Mandir (formerly Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centres).
According to the National Cancer Registry Programme Report, the estimated prevalence of cervical cancer cases in the State in 2023 was 36,014. Uttar Pradesh’s estimated prevalence of cases was 45,682, Maharashtra 30,414 and West Bengal 25,822.
Chennai’s age-adjusted incidence rate (per 1,00,000) of cervical cancer was 14.8, according to the Population-Based Cancer Registry under the National Cancer Registry Programme.
Jayashree Natarajan, Gynaecologic Oncologist, Associate Professor, Cancer Institute (WIA), Adyar said, “The second-most common cancer detected in women aged between 35 and 44 is cervical cancer.”
According to her, cervical cancer is preventable since “effective ways of screening for precancerous stages and preventing the disease by vaccinating girls [against Human Papillomavirus infection] are possible”.
If it is detected in a person in the precancerous stages, it is completely curable, she added.
“The World Health Organisation has given us targets to accomplish by 2030, which include screening at least 70% of women for cervical cancer and vaccinating at least 90% of girls before their 15th birthday,” she added.