Mumbai: As part of a countrywide trial, TataMemorial Hospital (TMH) here has begun its first vaccinationclinic at Kanjurmarg in Mumbai to immunise 3000 girls againstcervical cancer across the city. TMH has started a trial to test the comparative efficacyof the Quadrivalent vaccine against Human Papilomavirus (HPV)that causes cervical cancer. "The test is a part of countrywide trial, involving20,000 girls in the age group of 10-18 years, being conductedby the World Health Organisation, International Agency forResearch in Cancer and is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gatesfoundation," Dr Rajendra Badwe Director Tata MemorialCentre said after inaugurating the first vaccination clinic.
Badwe said, however, vaccines alone cannot wipe outcervical cancer."Even if the HPV vaccines became available worldwide,there would still be many women who are already infected withHPV and would still be at risk," Badwe said adding also, notall cancer-causing HPV types are covered by the vaccines. Therefore, combined efforts to provide screening andtreatment to women in the developing world should continue,he said. The TMC director also said, for developing simple,efficacious and affordable techniques and models for cervicalcancer screening, the TMH has been conducting trials over thelast one decade, in Mumbai and rural Maharashtra. "These methods are expected to be very useful in reducingthe cervical cancer burden in India and other low-resourcecountries. Many of these trials are now published in nationaland international medical journals," he said. Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers.In wealthy countries, screening programmes help to keepcervical cancer rates low as they have an easy and affordableaccess to regular Papsmear screening, Badwe said. Worldwide, each year, nearly 5,00,000 women are diagnosedwith cervical cancer, and nearly 2,50,000 die from it. Adisproportionate number of these deaths occur in developingcountries. In India--bearing 20 per cent of overall cervicalmorbidity and mortality--it is currently estimated that eachyear over a lakh cases are diagnosed and over 55,000 women dieof cervical cancer.PTI
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