Health experts in India have urged women for greater awareness towards screening of cervical cancer, the second most common cancer in women.
Less than three percent of Indian women had access to screening techniques for cancer of cervix, said Urvashi Jha, director for obstetrics and gynaecology and surgical oncology at Fortis Healthcare.
"According to World Health Organisation (WHO), of all Indian women aged 18-69 years, only a meagre 2.6 percent undergo screening every three years for cervical cancer. How can we assume that our country will emerge as a superpower when we can't provide such basic services," she said.
Techniques such as pap smears and conventional cytology-based screening techniques are adequate for detecting cervical cancer but the fact that women do not go for such screenings is the biggest cause of worry for the experts.
Jha said that the statistics were "appalling" since the cancer of cervix, "which is a very preventable cancer" was amongst the top killers in women's cancers in the country, in absence of regular screenings and women's awareness.
S.L. Jain, lab director, Quest Diagnostics India, said that early detection was the "single most important factor" in determining the long-term survival prospects of patients of cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide but according to United States National Library of Health, the 5-year survival rate can be as much as 92 percent for cases where the spread of cancer is limited.