Actress fakes her own death and sparks debate in India

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A social media post claiming that an Indian actress had died from cervical cancer and a video published a day later announcing that she was alive have sparked a heated debate about the ethics of online advertising campaigns in India.

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As a result, on Friday (2), actress Poonam Pandey’s official Instagram account announced that the 32-year-old actress had “fought bravely against the disease” and died.

Many believed, the media covered the news and social networks were full of tributes to the actress.

Poonam acted in a few films but became an online sensation because of her controversial posts and participation in advertising campaigns.

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The controversy really began when, a day later, Pandey posted a video to her 1.3 million Instagram followers saying that she had “faked her death” as part of a cervical cancer awareness campaign.

“Suddenly we’re all talking about cervical cancer, aren’t we?” Poonam said in the video, adding that she was “proud” of what the news of her death “was able to achieve.”

It’s good to remember that, often called the “silent killer”, cervical cancer does not generate noticeable symptoms in the early stages of the disease.

But it is the second most common cancer in women in India, responsible for more than 77,000 deaths every year, behind only breast cancer.

It is also one of the most preventable cancers, as the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine protects against some strains of the virus that cause cancer.

However, regular exams continue to be recommended, as the vaccine does not protect against all strains of HPV capable of causing cancer.

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