L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


DNA testing for cervical cancer screening at DMCH
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 10
For the first time in Punjab, the DMCH here has started detection of human papilloma virus (HPV) by DNA capture assay.

This virus is responsible for the cancer of the cervix. The highlight of this testing device is that it can identify 13 of the high-risk types associated with cervical cancer. Till now, this state-of-the-art testing facility was available only in the PGI, Chandigarh, and New Delhi in the entire North India.

Giving this information, Dr Vineeta Malhotra, Professor and Head of the Department of Pathology at the DMCH, stated that carcinoma uterine cervix was the second-most common cancer among women and Indian women were at the highest risk in the world. This condition claimed more than 1,10,000 lives worldwide every year.

She informed that the cancer developed in the lining of the cervix in the lower part of the uterus. Normal cervical cells underwent changes to become pre-cancerous and then cancerous. “While early marriages, poor sexual hygiene and growing extramarital and premarital contacts make the occurrence of this cancer common, it is mainly associated with HPV infection which can be detected by HPV DNA testing,” she says.

According to Dr Malhotra, HPV was one of the most common, but treatable sexually transmitted disease. However, if left untreated and allowed to persist, it was the key risk factor for the development of cervical cancer. Regular PAP smears and HPV screening could provide an early warning whether the patient needed treatment. Knowing a patient's HPV status allowed her physician to monitor her regularly and intervene quickly if signs of pre-cancerous change were detected.

She said HPV/DNA test detected the viruses that could cause cell changes in the cervix. “The test is performed by collecting cells from the cervix and sending them to the laboratory for analysis in a specialised container. If the woman is found to be HPV negative, she is at a very low risk for the development of cervical cancer,” she said, adding that it was advisable for women under 30 years and above to undergo this screening, especially if any abnormality was detected in PAP smear.



Water-borne diseases: awareness, sanitation stressed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 10
The district administration today chalked out an elaborate programme to create awareness among the people and take remedial steps against the outbreak of water-borne diseases like gastroenteritis, cholera, typhoid and jaundice in the city in the wake of the heatwave gripping the region.

Presiding over a meeting of the coordination committee here today, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, directed the Health Department to organise awareness camps to educate the people while the municipal corporation had been asked to ensure supply of safe drinking water. In the first phase, localities prone to outbreak of diseases would be covered.

Mr Gupta said the civic body had been instructed to maintain proper sanitation all over the city and sought cooperation of the city population by keeping their surroundings clean.

While the sale of over-ripe or under-ripe fruits and uncovered eatables will be strictly dealt with, the district officials along with the staff of the MC will take water samples at least once a week to ascertain the quality of drinking water. The SDMs concerned, health officials and civic staff have already been told to take stern action against the sale of adulterated food items, including those which were prepared or sold in unhygienic conditions.

Mr S.K. Sharma, Commissioner of the MC, who was also present at the meeting, stated that safe drinking water was being supplied to the city population. He further said in the wake of sweltering heat and massive power cuts, the MC had chalked out a comprehensive action plan to ensure adequate water supply. Different zones in the city had been specifically assigned to senior officers who would be held personally responsible for acts of omission and commission.


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