Daily Current Affairs for 17th December 2019

  1. Home
  2. »
  3. Daily Current Affairs
  4. »
  5. Daily Current Affairs for 17th December 2019

Recent incidence of breast and cervical cancer in India

GS Paper II

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


Mains: reasons behind rising cases of breast and cervical cancers

What’s the News?

From 2016 to 2018, the estimated number of cases of cervical cancer increased from 99,000 to 1 lakh to 1.01 lakh, data from the National Cancer Registry Program of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) revealed.

Cervical cancer

  • It is one of the most common cancers developed in woman worldwide. The major cause for cervical cancer is Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
  • HPV is a necessary cause but may not be a sufficient cause for development of cervical cancer. There are other co-factors that are responsible for progression of a cervical HPV infection to cancer.
  • Use of birth control pills for long periods, more sexual partners, early age at first intercourse, smoking, and weak immune system with HIV are some of the co-factors responsible for causing cervical cancer.

About HPV:

  • Most sexually active men and women will contract the HPV virus at some point during their lifetime.
  • HPV can be spread through oral, vaginal, or anal sex.
  • It can result in genital warts and some types of cancer.
  • Sometimes, HPV can be transmitted during birth to an infant causing genital or respiratory system infections.
  • There is no cure for HPV but safe and effective vaccinations are recommended at the age of 11 to 12 years.

Indian scenario:

  • India, cervical cancer is the second most prevalent cancer among the woman after breast cancer.
  • Around one-third of cervical cancer deaths in the world.



  • Breast cancer in India is different from that in the West. Here, it is affecting younger women and more than half of them present themselves in advanced stages. The middle age is one of the most important phases of a woman’s life, both as a life partner and mother. Such productive women are now getting entangled in this rising menace of breast cancer.


  • By 2030, breast cancer will cause maximum deaths among women in India than any other cancer. From awareness to detection to diagnosis to counselling to treatment to overcome the disease, there is shortcoming at every stage.



  • These are the factors which increase the risk of cancer development by altering the breast physiology, processes and functions. These are also factors which can be altered to decrease the risk of cancer. Certain hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone play an important role in the development of cancer. Oestrogen promotes cell growth and progesterone causes cell maturation and stabilisation. It is in the growth phase that the cell undergoes malignant transformation, that is, cancer formation occurs.
  • Therefore, factors such as early menarche (start of menses), late menopause (stopping of menses), HRT (hormone replacement therapy), alcohol, obesity, lack of exercise and stress cause increased oestrogen exposure and increase the chances of developing cancer.
  • Women who had to undergo IVF therapy for pregnancy also have more tendencies to develop breast cancer because of increased exposure to hormones.
  • On the other hand, timely pregnancy, proper and adequate lactation and healthy lifestyle induce progesterone and decrease the chances of cancer occurrence.
  • Smoking is an independent risk factor for developing cancer.
  • A healthy stress-free lifestyle, timely pregnancy, adequate lactation and abstinence from tobacco and alcohol are certain measures which can definitely decrease the incidence of breast cancer.
  • Besides these, screening can be done to detect this unfortunate disease at an early stage to save a precious life.


Current Affairs

Recent Posts