“This morning is a tough one for us. Deeply saddened to inform you that we have lost our beloved Poonam to cervical cancer.Every living form that ever came in contact with her was met with pure love and kindness. In this time of grief, we would request for privacy while we remember her fondly for all that we shared.”
As she confirmed the devastating news, Poonam’s manager, Nikita Sharma, said, “Poonam Pandey was not only a luminary in the film industry, but she was also a beacon of strength and resilience.”
Pandey’s media manager Parul Chawla has also confirmed the news of the actor’s demise.
Shock and disbelief among fans
Fans, shocked by her demise are expressing both sadness and skepticism. Some are questioning the legitimacy of the announcement, while others remain hopeful that her account might have been compromised.
Poonam Pandey, known for her contributions to the entertainment industry, gained popularity through her appearances in various projects, including the first season of Lock Upp hosted by Kangana Ranaut. Despite not winning the show, she managed to broaden her fan base. The winner of the season was stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui.
The actress was also briefly in the spotlight due to her unexpected marriage to Sam Bombay in 2020. The union, marked by public displays of affection on social media, took a turn for the worse when Poonam accused Sam of domestic violence shortly after their wedding.
Social media star
Poonam Pandey was a hugely popular social media figure who also acted in a couple of Bollywood films. She gained popularity initially because of her controversial posts on Twitter, now X. Poonam first gained fame when she promised to strip for the Indian cricket team if they won the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Although she didn’t follow through with her promise, the incident brought her into the limelight.
Poonam also appeared in a few Bollywood films, including “Nasha” (2013) and “The Journey of Karma” (2018). Poonam Pandey was part of reality shows such as “Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi” in 2011.
Cervical Cancer: The silent killer
A day after the Government of India announced free vaccination against cervical cancer for girls aged 9 to 14 as part of her Interim Budget 2024, the death of Poonam Pandey comes as a bitter reality check. It is often termed as ‘a silent killer’ and rarely presents any noticeable symptoms during the onset of the disease. Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the cervix, the lower part of the uterus. It is primarily caused by persistent infection with high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV). Regular screening, such as Pap smears or HPV tests, is crucial for the early detection of cervical abnormalities and cancer.
Some of the symptoms of the disease include:
-Unusual bleeding between periods
-Bleeding after sexual intercourse
-Menstrual bleeding that lasts longer or is heavier than usual
-Persistent pain in the pelvis or lower back
-Pain or discomfort during urination
-Significant and unexplained weight loss
-Persistent fatigue and lack of energy
-Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea
According to N Sapna Lulla, Lead Consultant, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Aster CMI Hospital, Bangalore, “Cervical cancer is the second most prevalent cancer in India. The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is sexually transmitted and responsible for almost all cervical cancers. If one notices any of the symptoms, it is advisable to consult a doctor as early detection plays a key role in treating cancer.”
•Regular Pap smears: Starting at 21, regular screening helps detect precancerous cells early, when they are highly treatable.
•Maintain a healthy lifestyle: A balanced diet, regular exercise, and avoiding smoking reduce cancer risk overall.
•Safe sex practices: Limiting sexual partners, using condoms, and getting vaccinated against other sexually transmitted infections offer additional protection.
Cervical Cancer Vaccination:“It is recommended to opt for the cervical cancer vaccine as it shields against high-risk HPV strains, significantly reducing the risk of developing this potentially deadly disease a powerful tool capable of protecting countless women. It’s most effective when administered before exposure to HPV, ideally between 9 and 26 years old. It gives long-term protection as the vaccine’s effects last for years. Consult your doctor for personalized advice and take charge of your cervical health,” says Dr Lulla.