Human papillomavirus(HPV) vaccine has been developed as a mode of specific prevention against cervical cancer in India at the universal immunization program (UIP).
The vaccine will be available for girls and women who are between 9 and 26 years for Rs 2,000 per dose, said the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI), the department of community medicine at狢ndira Gandhi Institute and Medical Sciences (IGIMS).
The vaccine costs about Rs 2,400 per dose. Two doses are administered between 9 to 14 years and three doses after 15 years, said Dr. Sanjay Kumar, Head of IGIMS's community medicine department.
HPV, a group of 150 viruses that can cause papilloma or warts in various parts of the body even including genital areas.
They are spread through skin-to-skin contact and are responsible for some diseases like cancer, though they are most commonly associated with cervical cancer.
A free cancer screening camp will also be organized on the premises of IGIMS. A cancer awareness campaign has been started by Paras HMRI Hospital with the students of Litera Valley School on occasion of World Cancer Day.
Oncologist Dr. Shekhar Kumar Keshri of Paras HMRI advised students to keep away from tobacco and motivate people to stop consuming it.
"In India, 80-85% cancer is caused due to tobacco use. The remaining 15-20% cases are caused by genetic factors, intake of contaminated water and consumption of beverages containing chemicals. Genetic cancer includes blood cancer (leukemia), cancer of the eye (retinoblastoma), stomach/gastric cancer, neuroblastoma and breast cancer," Dr. Keshri added.
Dr. J K Singh, director of Paras HMRI's cancer center said that the number of patients could be reduced by 80-85 percent if the government can check on the consumption of tobacco products.
"In case the disease is diagnosed at an early stage, it can be cured. Of the 15 lakh cancer patients in India, Bihar alone accounts for 90,000 patients," he added.