Hyderabad: Cervical cancer has emerged as a second most common cause of cancer deaths among Indian women aged between 15 and 44 years, according to a report by Spain-based international public health institution Institut Català d’Oncologia (ICO) Information Centre.

On average, India reports about 122,000 new cases of cervical cancer annually, with around 67,500 women succumbing to the disease, accounting for 11.1% of total deaths related to cancer.

Cervical cancer comes next only to breast cancer in terms of mortality rate in Indian women, the report added.

The two preventive strategies for cervical cancer include screening and vaccination. The report says just 3.1% women in India get screened, leaving a large population vulnerable to death from the disease.

According to internationally accepted protocol, all women of 25-64 years need to undergo screening every three years.

If cervical abnormalities are detected at an early stage the abnormal tissue can be excised using day care and minimally invasive surgical procedures.

“Western countries, especially Europe, have taken cervical cancer very seriously even 40 years back and every women there get compulsorily screened; unfortunately in India it’s not seen as a priority by the government – although one-fourth of cervical cancer deaths occur in India," said Sharda Jain, gynaecologist and director at Global Institute of Gynecology, Delhi.