Cervical Cancer Awareness – Protect to Tell
Cancer comes in many forms. If you don’t already know, cervical cancer is the 2nd most common cancer affecting women worldwide, with almost 500,000 new cases diagnosed annually. And, it is the 9th most common cancer in Singaporean women.
The tagline for this “Cervical Cancer Awareness” campaign is Protect to Tell. Yes, to spread awareness via word-of-mouth. To protect ourselves and our loved ones.
An event was specially organised at Lady M, where we (female bloggers) learnt more about cervical cancer via professional doctors.
Yummy cakes later… (:
Myth 1: Cervical cancer is not common, it can never happen to me.
The number of cervical cancer cases in Singapore has been decreasing in the last 20 years because women take part in prevention programmes. Without theses programs, cervical cancer is the 2nd most common cancer afecting women.
Myth 2: I am not at risk of cervical cancer as there is no such history in my family.
Almost all cases of cervical cancer occur in women with no family history of it. It is caused by a common virus – HPV. There are about 130 different types of HPV, but only 15 cause cancer.
Myth 3: Getting cervical cancer is linked to being sexually promiscuous.
HPV is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, via sexual intercourse or contact at the genital area, and non-sexual contact, e.g. mother to infant during delivery. Women can still be infected having just one partner, as long as they are sexually active.
Myth 4: I am feeling well, I do not have HPV infection.
Cancer-causing HPV is silent. Infected individuals do not know that they are infected and may unknowingly spread the virus. Early cervical cancer has no signs or symptoms. Hence, regular screening and prevention are critical.
Myth 5: If I have a normal Pap smear, it means I will not have cervical cancer.
A pap smear is a screening test to detect any changes in cervical cells. One normal Pap smear is not enough to protect you from cervical cancer. In Singapore, all woman aged between 25 and 69 years old who ever had sex are advised to have a Pap smear done once every 3 years.
Myth 6: Pap smear program is effective, HPV vaccination is unnecessary.
Pap smear and HPV vaccination play different roles in the holistic prevention of cervical cancer. Pap smear detects changes in the cells of your cervix which may develop into cancer later. Vaccination helps prevent certain HPV infections and reduce the risk of developing cervical pre-cancer and cervical cancer.
Myth 7: I am already sexually active, so the vaccine will not work for me.
The best time to vaccinate is prior to sexual debut. However, It does not treat or protect against any HPV infection you may already have. HPV vaccine has been proven to protect thousands of women in the clinical trials who were already sexually active.
Myth 8: My daughter is too young to be vaccinated. She won’t be at risk of cervical cancer at the age of 10.
Immune response is stronger when vaccinating young. Singapore has included HPV vaccination into its National Childhood Immunization Programme starting from age 9-26 years old.
Myth 9: Vaccinating adolescents will encourage sexual promiscuity.
The main aim of vaccination is to reduce the risk of cervical cancer. As such, vaccination should not encourage promiscuity.
Myth 10: I must wait for my daughter’s menses before vaccination.
Vaccination will not impact the onset of the menstrual cycle. The antibodies generated by the vaccine will not interfere with adolescent development. The side effects associated with HPV vaccine are namely:- injected site pain, redness, low grade fever and fatigue.
All women who are over 18 or who are sexually active, should have a Pap test at least once a year.
Hmm… the tools used for the Pap test…
Does it hurt? They say, it depends on the doctor :s
Do make an appointment for your FREE Pap smear!
The gluttony yours truly tried each and every cake
Okay, here’s my absolute fave Lady M Green Tea Mille Crêpes!!!! It was soooooo delish I had to have at least two :d~
Let me reiterate, ‘Protect to Tell – Stay vigilant and increase awareness of Cervical Cancer protection.’
CLICK HERE to find out more about Ovarian Cancer.