Mumbai: Bollywood actress and model Poonam Pandey, who rose to fame with her bold and controversial appearances on social media and reality shows, passed away on Friday at the age of 32 due to cervical cancer, according to her media manager.

A post on Pandey’s official Instagram account read, “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.”

Pandey’s media manager Parul Chawla confirmed the news of the actor’s demise to ANI. She said, “Poonam was diagnosed with cervical cancer a few months ago and was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Mumbai. She fought bravely till the end, but unfortunately, she could not survive. She breathed her last today morning surrounded by her family and friends.”

Poonam Pandey’s death has shocked the film industry and her fans, who expressed their condolences and grief on social media. Many Bollywood celebrities also paid tribute to the late actor, who was known for her bold and outspoken personality.

Actor and producer Anushka Sharma tweeted, “Shocked and saddened to hear about Poonam Pandey’s passing away. She was a young and talented actor who had a lot to offer. My heartfelt condolences to her family and friends. May her soul rest in peace.”

Filmmaker Karan Johar wrote, “Poonam Pandey was a fearless and fabulous actor who always spoke her mind and lived life on her own terms. She was an inspiration to many young women who wanted to break the stereotypes and make a mark in the industry. I am deeply pained by her untimely demise. May God give strength to her family and fans.”

Poonam Pandey made her Bollywood debut in 2013 with the erotic thriller Nasha, in which she played the lead role of a teacher who falls in love with a student. She also appeared in films like Love Is Poison, Malini & Co., The Journey of Karma, and Helen. She was last seen in the web series Lock Upp, which aired on OTT platform Zee5.

Poonam Pandey’s death has also brought attention to the silent threat of cervical cancer, which is one of the most common and preventable cancers among women. According to the World Health Organization, cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in women, with an estimated 570,000 new cases and 311,000 deaths in 2018. Cervical cancer is caused by persistent infection with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV), which can be prevented by vaccination and regular screening.

Dr. Shilpa Sharma, a gynecologist and oncologist, said, “Cervical cancer is a highly preventable and treatable disease if detected early. Women should be aware of the symptoms and risk factors of cervical cancer, such as abnormal bleeding, pain, discharge, or infection. They should also get vaccinated against HPV and undergo regular Pap smear tests, which can detect any abnormal changes in the cervix. Early diagnosis and treatment can save lives and improve the quality of life of cervical cancer patients.”

Poonam Pandey’s death is a tragic reminder of the need for more awareness and action against cervical cancer, which claims the lives of many young and promising women every year.

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