In a shocking Instagram post on Friday morning, actor-model Poonam Pandey’s team confirmed the news of her untimely death at 32, after battling cervical cancer. “She passed away last night,” Poonam’s team also confirmed the news in an interview to News18 while shocked fans wonder if the account was hacked and the post was a hoax, since her last Instagram post was from a party in Goa three days ago.
Poonam Pandey’s cause of death
As the shocking news makes waves, conversations about cervical wellness have sparked the urgency to safeguard your reproductive system with health experts stressing the importance of reproductive well-being. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Kshitiz Murdia, CEO and Co-Founder of Indira IVF, shared, “Health of the reproductive system is imperative in ensuring the overall well being, specifically cervical health. Having periodic cervical health checks done, for example Pap smears and HPV testing are very critical in the early detection of any abnormal cell changes on the cervix. Early diagnosis is vital as it enables early intervention and also ensures proper treatment of cervical cancer.”
He added, “Moreover, healthy lifestyles contribute immensely to the better reproductive and also cervical health. This includes ceasing smoking, as smoking is linked to higher risk of cervical cancer development. Whole, balanced meals consisting lots of fruits and vegetables as well as lean proteins and healthy fats are essential for hormonal balance which promises a successful reproduction. Managing weight through appropriate nutrition and physical activity is a critical intervention for individuals as obesity is linked with developing cervical disease cancer.”
He advised, “It is also recommended to consider receiving the HPV vaccination, which should be taken by the people between the age group of 9-26 to prevent the HPV infection and decrease cervical cancer risk. It becomes evident that the vaccination is a preventive measure for the HPV strains responsible of cervical cancer. Vaccination can be a proactive measure to protect against certain strains of HPV known to cause cervical cancer. Proper personal hygiene practices, especially during the menstrual cycles and ensuring limited exposure to toxic chemicals in our environment can contribute to a better cervical health. Screening regularly and early diagnosis are crucial to keep the reproductive system healthy and works as a preventative measure against any potential problems.”
Dr Tushar Patil, Senior Consultant – Medical Oncologist at Sahyadri Super Speciality Hospital in Pune’s Deccan Gymkhana, asserted on maintaining a healthy reproductive system for overall well-being and suggested several important considerations for better cervical health –
- It’s crucial to schedule regular visits with your gynecologist for routine check-ups and screenings. Early detection of any issues can significantly improve outcomes and contribute to the overall health of your reproductive system. Regular cervical cancer screenings, including Pap smears and HPV testing, are crucial as they can detect abnormal changes in the cervix early, allowing for timely intervention. Additionally, promoting the HPV vaccine for eligible candidates is essential, as it has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of cervical cancer and other HPV-related diseases.
- Practice safe sex to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which can have an impact on reproductive health. Encouraging safe sexual practices, such as condom use, to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HPV, is also important.
- A healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and avoiding tobacco, has been linked to better reproductive and cervical health. Maintain a well-balanced diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. A nutritious diet supports overall health, including reproductive health. Ensure your meals include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
- Managing chronic conditions such as diabetes and immune system disorders is crucial, as these can impact cervical health. Educating women about the signs and symptoms of reproductive and cervical health issues, such as abnormal bleeding or pelvic pain, is vital, as is empowering them to make informed decisions.
- Understanding your menstrual cycle is essential. Pay attention to any irregularities, as this knowledge can be valuable when trying to conceive or identifying potential health issues related to your reproductive system.
- Stress management is also important, as studies have suggested a link between stress and reproductive health. Chronic stress can affect hormonal balance, potentially impacting the reproductive system. Incorporate stress management techniques, such as exercise, meditation, or yoga, into your routine to promote overall well-being.
By incorporating these recommendations into their lives, individuals can support their reproductive and cervical health. Bringing her expertise to the same, Dr Sampada Dessai, Consultant – Gynaecologic Oncosurgery at PD Hinduja Hospital and Medical Research Center in Khar, said, “Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women. Most cancers are caused by infection with Human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted virus. Infection with cancer-producing HPV type is necessary for initiation of cancer. However, not everyone who gets infected with HPV gets cancer.”
She revealed, “In most women, the infection gets cleared over the period. Many lifestyle factors play an important role in one getting an HPV infection or having a persistent HPV infection. Smoking, exposure to environmental toxins, sedentary lifestyle, and coinfection with sexually transmitted viruses increase the chance of having persistent HPV infection and hence cancer. There exists a link between diet and cervical cancer too. Overall balanced diet boosts immunity and helps clear the HPV infection from the body. Diet rich in sugar, sodium and saturated fatty acids increases chronic inflammation and increases the chances of persistent HPV infection. A diet rich in fruit, vegetable peas, and antioxidants decreases the risk of cervical cancer.”
Highlighting that obesity increases the risk of cervical cancer, she said, “The exact reason is not known. Probably it adversely impacts cervical cancer screening. Exercise helps in maintaining weight which in turn indirectly prevents cervical cancer. Not to forget the two important ways of preventing cervical cancer are screening for cancer and vaccinating the eligible population. According to CDC guidelines, all women should undergo cervical cancer screening with a pap test once in three years starting from age of 21 years till they reach 65 years. The screening duration can be extended to once in 5 years if co-testing with HPV is done. HPV testing to be started only after 30 years. It is always better to prevent than to treat. Vaccinating the 9-25 years girls and boys would significantly decrease the risk of getting HPV infection. So being aware, following a good lifestyle, getting screened, and vaccinating the eligible population is the way forward to eradicate cervical cancer.”