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According to a survey, Indian women are more worried about putting on weight than developing cervical cancer
Recently a global cervical cancer survey that was conducted to explore women's attitudes towards the condition revealed that barriers like work, personal appearance and social life prevented women from acknowledging their personal risk of the disease and from taking action to protect themselves.
The survey was conducted with over 18,000 women aged 18-55 across 19 countries. In India, 1,009 women were surveyed. Forty-five per cent of the women revealed that they worried more about putting on weight than developing cervical cancer (24 per cent).
On a 12 grid matrix survey about their dreams and aspirations, 61.8 per cent women aspire for wealth and comfort followed by a career or occupation of choice (18.1 per cent), a happy family (10.3 per cent), good health and so on. Protection from diseases (13 per cent) featured on number six. The majority of Indian women (24 per cent) admitted that if given money to spend on themselves they would invest it in savings (39 per cent) or spend it on a weekend away (24 per cent).
Dr Ashwini Bhalerao Gandhi, consultant gynaecologist, Hinduja Hospital Mumbai, says, "Women nowadays are putting their health-related issues on the back burner in their endeavour to balance their professional and personal lives. They should prioritise their cervical health and talk to the gynaecologist because missing a Pap smear test could mean that the early signs of cervical cancer are not being picked up."
Dr Sudha Chaudhari, consultant paediatrician at KEM Hospital, said that 200 women die everyday due to cervical cancer in the country. "Prevention of cervical cancer is the need of the day. Every year, 1,32,082 Indian women are affected by cervical cancer and 72,825 women die due to the cancer," she said. Awareness about health-related issues is very poor among women. "Women usually neglect their health," she pointed out. According to the guidelines set by the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) and FOGSI (Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India), girls above 10 and women upto 45 years can be vaccinated with the HPV vaccine. "It's important to vaccinate girls before they're sexually active," she said.
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