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Cervical cancer screening in rural India: Status & current concepts


Anand Narain Srivastava, Jata Shankar Misra, Shruti Srivastava, Bhudav C Das, Shilpi Gupta

Indian Journal of Medical Research 2018 148(6):687-696 Cervical carcinoma is one of the most common and dreaded diseases of women, and in India, it accounts for 16 per cent of total cervical cancer cases occurring globally. The situation is more alarming in the rural areas where the majority of women are illiterate and ignorant about the hazards of cervical cancer. Different screening strategies such as rural cancer registries and camp approach for cancer detection have been found useful in minimizing the problem of cervical cancer in the villages. Various screening techniques such as visual inspection with acetic acid, visual inspection with Lugol's iodine, visual inspection with magnification devices-magnavisualizer, Pap smear and HPV-DNA testing have been suggested and tried under low-resource settings of our country, and cervical cytology screening has been found effective in reducing incidence of the disease. In the present review, feasibility of different screening methods has been assessed to find out the most suitable mode applicable at the rural level. Single lifetime screening particularly of high-risk women along with analysis of cost-effective tumour markers such as Argyrophilic nucleolar organizer regions (AgNOR) counts to discriminate high-risk dysplasia cases appears to be an appropriate approach in fighting against cervical cancer.