The other day some of us the senior cancer specialists were discussing about ‘prevention of cervical cancer’.
Cervical cancer incidence has decreased in most countries, including those who have not implemented pap smear screening.
What are the likely reasons?
Dr. Anita Borges came with the interesting thought.
“Do you know that most women in India don’t bathe in privacy”, she exclaimed. “Cervical cancer has a lot to do with personal hygiene. Fix that and the incidence will come down.”
A very valid thought coming from a leading pathologist with decades of experience.
It is very unfortunate that women and men in India do not have the privacy of taking a completely bath without clothes as most places are public bathing spaces.
This certainly leads to poor genital hygiene and HPV viral infections which ultimately lead to cervical cancer.
So one of the easy ways to decrease this is by creating private bathing spaces. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a great campaign towards constructing toilets. It will be even beneficial to add a private bathing facility which can be a small room with a tap. This can reduce the incidence not only of cervical cancer but many other infections.
This cost effective solution is a lot easier to implement than mass screening/mass vaccination. So it is an appeal to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to add bathing spaces in addition to just toilets for the population which can be done with hardly any additional cost.
It is also interesting that Akshay Kumar is following up his film ‘Toilet ki ek premkatha ’ with another social awareness film ‘Padman’ based on Arunachalam Muruganantham’s story.
Influence by Tina must by the inspiration for taking up these movies.
Hats off Akshay and Tina for creating awareness of a problem, we try to hide ‘ literally under the clothes’.