Be Aware & Be Safe: Fight Against Cervical Cancer
Imagine living a normal everyday life. Looking after your home and family, enjoying the company of your teenaged children, going about your life like any other home maker and then one day finding out you have cervical cancer! Out of the blue…. And most unexpectedly.
That’s what happened to Davlatova Gulshod. Davlatova, who is from Uzbekistan, was in India being treated for Cervical Cancer when CAPED met her. She said she was living a normal life. She had no symptoms and had normal regular menstrual cycles with no visible irregularities.
Suddenly she started feeling fatigued and suffered low back pain. But as is the way of most women, these symptoms were ignored. The alarm bells rang when she had heavy bleeding.
Doctors got tests done that showed her to be suffering from cervical cancer.
Davlavtova despite her illness was not aware of the vaccination. On counseling with the CAPED team, Davlatova Gulshod realised how easy and important it is to get screened early in life and has promised to get her teenage daughters vaccinated against cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer is the largest killer in India. In fact, India contributes to 1/4th of the world’s death statistics in relation to cervical cancer. And the irony is that – it is a 100% preventable cancer! 100% preventable and we lose one woman every 8 minutes to cervical cancer! Isn’t that a tragedy?
January is the Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Keeping abreast with the spirit of the month, this article aims to serve as a reminder to all women to speak with their physicians about the risks of developing cervical cancer, what causes it, and what they can do to prevent it.
We’ve joined hands with CAPED - Cancer Awareness, Prevention and Early Detection, an organization that is trying to create awareness of cervical cancer, to bring to you all that you need to know to be aware and to be safe!
Read on to know more about CAPED and their journey in transforming the notion of this dreaded chronic disease into a curable one.
Every home in every city in India has had their run in with cancer. Everyone at CAPED – Cancer Awareness, Prevention and Early Detection, also have had their run-ins with cancer. And that is how CAPED came to be formed.
“Having lost loved ones, the uppermost thought in all our minds was to do something in the field of cancer. All of us had done huge research on cancer during the caregiving years and one thing you learn once you start to read up about cancer is that – almost all cancers are treatable if detected early. Almost All. You just need to catch them on time. But that was too small a topic to spend the rest of our lives talking about, obviously! So what should we do? What would really be effective was the big question.”
It was then that Dr. Vaid, (Padma Shree, Head Oncologist at Medanta), trustee and mentor CAPED, gave intentions direction and purpose. He suggested that the issue of Cervical Cancer be picked up as the most effective way to clear cervical cancer’s incidence is awareness. Awareness could hugely reduce our country’s statistics on cervical cancer he said. And so cervical cancer it was.
Dr. Vaid, Mr. Bharatram, Mr. Alok Goyal and Mr. Sandeep Nagpal as Trustees, a trust was set up. Ms. Mridu Gupta, with her social development sector background took the reins of the dream and CAPED was registered. A year later, slowly and steadily CAPED made a name for itself and people could see the intentions and the need for the intervention that CAPED was trying to create. The team expanded and Ms. Sunita Harkar Shalla joined to add her expertise and efforts to the cause.
By the end of the second year, CAPED had done workshops in over 40 corporates and many schools and colleges. They had also started to do screening at Bastis in Gurgaon along with Indian Cancer Society and a 1000 people were screened in 2015-2016.
“It’s been an exciting journey though CAPED is still young at 3 yrs. We have a lot of ideas and plans and we hope to implement every one of them! We are always looking for like minded people to join our cause as well as volunteers to ideate and execute awareness programs.
There’s a lot to be done and a lot of hearts to be healed. There are also all these women who can be protected. But they have to act now. And we have to tell them so. Come join the chain and spread the awareness…”
We have lined up Team CAPED to answer all your queries related to cervical cancer. You can connect with us real time on 18th Jan and disperse myths associated with cervical cancer. See you on Connect.