• An initiative undertaken by the non-profit Hindu Mission Hospital here and researchers from Harvard Medical School aims at nipping cervical cancer in the bud through a self-sustaining screening programme targeting women in rural Tamil Nadu.

  • Sexually transmitted infection of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the cause for more than 90 per cent of cervical cancer cases. Yet HPV infection is not always cancerous as only persistent infection in some women leads to cancer

  • The project with its base in Tiruchi would cover Salem, Erode and Karur, some of the districts with high incidence of cervical cancer next to Chennai. The project would move a step ahead of the existing cancer screening government initiative by employing multiple screening techniques.

  • While the government project uses a simple cost-effective method- Visual Inspection method with Ascetic Acid (VIA), the Harvard project employs two additional techniques as VIA though non-expensive, is subjective

  • One of the important feature of the ‘Harvard Project' is the introduction of HPV testing, a rarity here, due to lack of trained experts and expenses incurred.

  • By identifying HPV infection in high-risk women above 30 years and suggesting intervention, the project envisages reducing cancer-related deaths.