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Workshop on cervical cancer in Hyderabad

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Hyderabad , Oct. 21

A NUMBER of medical and research experts from leading hospitals and research institutes have initiated a discussion on finding out the best way of screening for cervical cancer, the commonest of cancers among women.

Experts from All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS, New Delhi), the Center for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (Hyderabad), the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (US) and MediCiti Hospital (Hyderabad) were among the many taking part in the three-day workshop on `Prevention of Cervical Cancer' being held here. The workshop would conclude on Friday.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, Mr P.S. Reddy, Prof of Medicine (University of Pittsburgh, the US) and Secretary General of Share Health Foundation, said Indian women were more prone to the cancer variety.

Indians accounted for one-fifth of 5,00,000 cervical cancer cases occurring worldwide annually.

A large number of cases in India were diagnosed when the cancer was advanced and incurable.

Dr Keerti V. Shah, Dr Patti E. Gravitt (both from John Hopkins School of Public Health (US), Dr Neerja Bhatla (AIIMS) and Dr Abraham Peedicayil (Christian Medical College, Vellore), who were also present, said the cancer was completely curable provided that it was detected early.

Regular screenings of women could solve the problem. But, lack of awareness and costs involved led to the widespread neglect of the disease in the country.

The institutes, which joined the studies funded by Department of Biotechnology (India) and National Institutes of Health (US), took up multi-centric studies to find out the incidence of the disease.

Four different screening methods were being compared in women at Medchal mandal (near Hyderabad) to identify the most efficient and cost-effective one.

The experts also highlighted the need for implementing a national screening programme for cervical cancer in view of its high prevalence in the country.

Dr Priya Abraham of Christian Medical College said that the disease had been eradicated in the West thanks to the awareness and facilities available to screen and fight the virus that caused the cancer.

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