Did you know that over 300,000 women in Asia are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, and nearly 170,000 women die from the disease?

Of these, the majority number of cases are attributed to Asian countries including India, Pakistan, Indonesia, China, and more. Cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among women, and its prevalence is a significant concern in Asia. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Asia accounts for more than half of the global burden of cervical cancer. Moreover, cervical cancer in Pakistan and its increasing death rate has also become a growing concern that needs serious attention.

But What is Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. It is usually caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and can often be prevented by regular screening and HPV vaccination.

Symptoms of cervical cancer may include abnormal vaginal bleeding, pain during sexual intercourse, or unusual vaginal discharge, but in some cases, there may be no symptoms at all. Early detection and treatment are important for improving the chances of a successful outcome.

Why is Cervical Cancer Prevalent in Asia?

The prevalence of cervical cancer in Pakistan and all over Asia is the most worrisome problem as it is the second most common disease among women in Pakistan aged 15-44 years with reported 3197 deaths every year. Several reasons contribute to the widespread of this disease in Asia.

1. Lack of Awareness

The first reason for the high prevalence of cervical cancer in Asia is the lack of awareness about the disease. Many women in Asia do not know about cervical cancer or the importance of regular screenings. In addition, many women do not have access to healthcare or do not seek medical attention until the disease has progressed to an advanced stage. This is especially true in rural areas where access to healthcare is limited. As a result, cervical cancer is often diagnosed at a later stage in Asia, which reduces the chances of successful treatment.

2. Vaccine Accessibility

Accessibility to vaccines is one of the major issues when it comes to combating the disease. Vaccines can protect against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is the primary cause of cervical cancer. However, many women in Asia do not have access to these vaccines, and even when they do, they are too costly to afford. Moreover, due to lack of education about the importance of HPV vaccination, many women and their families do not understand the benefits of getting vaccinated.

3. Insufficient Resources

Even when women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, they may not be able to access the necessary treatments due to the high cost of the treatment. Many women in low- and middle-income countries do not have access to regular cervical cancer screening tests. This can lead to higher mortality rates and a lower quality of life for women with cervical cancer.

4. Social Stigma

Cultural barriers may make it difficult for women to seek medical care or discuss their health concerns with anyone. In some Asian societies, there is a stigma associated with reproductive health, making it challenging for women to ask for reproductive healthcare services.

The Bottom Line

Cervical cancer in Pakistan and in entire Asia is a major health concern that has taken many lives. It is time to play our part in eradicating the disease. By working together, we can reduce the prevalence of cervical cancer in Asia and help more women live healthy and productive lives.