Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3-15

Understanding cervical cancer in the context of developing countries

1 Institute of Public Health, University of Heidelberg, Germany
2 School of Public Health, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia

Correspondence Address:
Farhad Ali
International Public Health Expert, Flat N0. 401, L-48, Shan-E-Khaleel Apartment, Abul Fazal Enclave- I, New Delhi, India -110025

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.92871

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Cancer is one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide. Among the women, gynecological cancers are most common. Cervical cancer is a main gynecological cancer of the women. The global burden of cervical cancer is disproportionately high among the developing countries where 85 per cent of the estimated 493, 000 new cases and 273, 000 deaths occur worldwide. There are several dimensions of the problem. Cervical cancer is a problem where people are poor, where the socio-economic status of the women is low and sometimes specific ethnicity also posses additional risk to the women to develop cervical cancer. Human papillomavirus infection is a main risk factor for the cervical cancer however there are some other factors which increase the risk. Among them some are number of sexual partners, age of first sexual intercourse, infection of sexually transmitted diseases, use of hormonal contraceptives, parity, age, smoking, food and diet. Apart from these factors, some other issues, such as policy on cancer, capacity of health system, socio-economic and cultural factors and awareness among the women are also associated with the cervical cancer related morbidity and mortality across the developing countries. There some interventions which give promising results in terms of reducing cervical cancer related morbidity and mortality. Among them visual inspection of cervix with acetic acid followed by treatment is one such effective method.

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