Sunday, December 20, 2009

“No Promiscuity, No Pap Smear!”

“I have never indulged in promiscuity so I don’t need a pap smear!” This was my friend’s reaction when we got talking on cervical cancer. While I was not really surprised at her response, the realization that even well-educated and modern women still harbour reservations about sex or any diagnostic test that might have a sexual angle to it, was what amazed me for a while. The sad part is that a lot of women are reluctant to get their pap smears done because their minds are clouded with innumerable “what ifs?”- What if they are actually diagnosed with cervical cancer? What if they are thought to be promiscuous by their friends and family? What if their characters are judged?

I was personally not aware of cervical cancer prior to joining FACC. Once I read up on it, the facts and figures on this ‘Big C’ sure did scare me. I wanted to spread awareness about this silent killer that is sweeping 8 Indian women every hour. All one needs to do to protect oneself against this disease is to get a pap smear done. It all sounded simple to me. My conversation with my friend just made me realise that the task ahead is not so simple and easy. The social taboos and the fear of being judged is what makes it complicated. I understood the fact that to fight cervical cancer, we need to fight and break down the taboos that surround our society today. It’s time women pushed out the “what ifs” from their mind and take their lives more seriously. We have only one life and we got to live it free- free from fear, free from cervical cancer!!!

Contributed by: Mayurakshi Barua, New Delhi


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