Cervical Cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting Singapore women. On first thought being guys, we may be thinking that it certainly has nothing to do with us. However, if we look beyond ourselves, we would realise how cervical cancer is affecting the lives of important and special women in our life and that indirectly affect us too. Thus as a guy, we can empower the important and special women in our life with information that could one day save their life.
According to Power Over Cervical Cancer (POCC), “Cervical Cancer is the 2nd most common female cancer worldwide with 500,000 women diagnosed every year!” In Singapore, about 200 women are detected with cervical cancer and about 100 die from the disease every year, according to Health Promotion Board of Singapore. According to the American Cancer Society estimates for cervical cancer in the United States for 2010, “there would be about 12,200 new cases of invasive cervical and about 4,210 will die from cervical cancer.” It can happen to any women around us!
I believe each and everyone of us can play a vital role in bringing down the numbers by sharing information of cervical cancer with family, friends, associates, colleagues and, as in my case, to strangers as what I am doing through this post.
Cervical cancer is caused by several types of a virus called human papillomaviruses (HPV), which is normally spread through sexual activity. “Most women bodies are able to fight HPV infection. But sometimes the virus leads to cancer,” according to National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH also states, “Cervical cancer may not cause any symptoms at first, but later, you may have pelvic pain or bleeding from the vagina.” According to the HPB of Singapore, signs or symptoms of cervical cancer may include:
Unusual or foul-smelling discharge from the vagina
Blood spots or light bleeding when you are not having your period or after menopause
Bleeding or pain during sex
And HPB of Singapore also mentioned that it is possible to have cervical cancer even if you do not experience any of these signs or symptoms.
Had sexually transmitted infections (STI) e.g. genital warts, genital herpes and HPV infection
As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure!” A woman’s risk of developing cervical cancer can be reduced by having regular pap smears/tests which is an early detection screening program. According to the American Cancer Society,
“Cervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women. Then, between 1955 and 1992, the cervical cancer death rate declined by almost 70%. The main reason for this change was the increased use of the Pap test. This screening procedure can find changes in the cervix before cancer develops. It can also find cervical cancer early — in its most curable stage.“
Although HPB of Singapore states in their FAQ section that pap smears should be done every 3 years, two of the most important women in my life, my mother and sister, are having their pap smears done almost on a yearly basis. Are the important women in your life having their pap smears done regularly already? Have you done yours?
Regardless of where you are in the world, together, we can empower the important and special women in our life over cervical cancer! Just simply by sharing information on cervical cancer, We Have the Power to Save Lives! You can find out more on how to reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer from the website of POCC.
Power Over Cervical Cancer is a campaign that aims to make Singapore the country with the lowest incidence of Cervical Cancer and they need your help to spread the word. Pledge your support for this cause and protect those you care about by telling them about Cervical Cancer. Together, we have POWER Over Cervical Cancer. Click the button below to begin!
The festive season is fast approaching and there will be numerous parties where you’ll be having a great deal of fun. When there are parties, there are always alcoholic drink and many reasons for one to drink more. Before you take another shot, think again, “Am I going to drive later?” If you are, most probably you want to be more discipline. If you are not, drink all you want and make sure you have someone to see you home safely.
During this time, you’ll see a lot of commercials, banners and posters to remind individual to drink responsibly. I believe that most people are responsible … at least all my friends drink responsibly. When they are drunk, they always make sure that someone else who is sober will be at the wheel. Probably next time, if you know that your friends are drunk or have been drinking a lot, you may also want to exercise a little social responsibility to stop him/her from driving.
Drunk driving is an offence in most countries around the world. Anyone who is convicted of injuring or killing someone while under the influence of alcohol can be heavily fined, in addition to being given a lengthy prison sentence. In Singapore, repeated offence of drunk driving can cause you to be fined up to $30,000 SGD and three years’ imprisonment. For an offender causing death or serious injuries can also be caned up to 6 strokes.
In a report from CNN, a man in LA was charged with three counts of murder when he ran a red light and struck a car, killing a Major League Baseball pitcher and two others while under the influence of alcohol. Just for that split seconds he had caused lost and miseries to three families.
According to the Office for National Statistics of UK, “There were 8,724 alcohol-related deaths in 2007, lower than 2006, but more than double the 4,144 recorded in 1991. The alcohol-related death rate was 13.3 per 100,000 population in 2007, compared with 6.9 per 100,000 population in 1991.”
In the US, in 2006, an estimated 17,602 people died in alcohol-related traffic crashes—an average of one every 30 minutes. These deaths constitute 41 percent of the 42,642 total traffic fatalities (from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
In Singapore, there was a significant rise in drink-driving arrests recording a 7% rise from 3,733 cases in 2006, to 4,009 cases in 2007. From a speech by Dr. Teo Ho Pin, dated 13 December 2006; he cited an accident which happened earlier in March that year. Two colleagues were on their way home together on a motorcycle and they crashed into the centre divider along Bukit Timah Expressway and their bodies were found lying along the road. It was found later that both men had a high concentration of alcohol in their blood. In that tragedy, two families lost not only their sole breadwinners but also their husbands and fathers. Indeed as what he mentioned, “The penalties of drink-driving are very high – with the ultimate penalty being death.”
Often time, you may think that you are still sober enough to drive after drinking but there are too many cases where drunk drivers caused death of their loved ones and innocent parties.
Prevention is always better than cure. If you are going out on a group, there can be a designated driver to send the rest home. And in the case when even the designated driver had a few drinks, there is always public transport or a cab instead. Never leave things to chance. Please do not ruin your night of fun and enjoyment and be sentenced to a lifetime of guilt and regret.
‘Eat all and whatever you desire … then pop this quick fix diet pill and you will slim down.‘ Frightening thought! This was something I heard in the news a few months ago about obese children. The question is, “can the damages already done to the body, by eating all the junk foods, be reversed so easily?”
According to a news report in The Huffington Post (April 6 2009), a new study by Ohio State-Temple University says almost 1 in 5 American 4-year-olds is obese. The study suggests that overall, more than half a million 4-year-olds are obese.”
Another updated report (2 September 2009) in BBC states, “The number of under-18s in the UK being prescribed weight-loss drugs rose 15-fold between 1999 and 2006.” Not to mention that these drugs are licensed only for adults.
In the book ‘Food, Inc,’ Robert Wood Johnson Foundation wrote, “Childhood obesity is a serious public health problem in the United States. Over the past three decades, obesity rates have soared among all age groups, increasing more than four times among children ages six to eleven.”
If we do not do something about this rising trend, our children will end up with higher risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, cancers, joint diseases and other obesity related problems like pulmonary problems, type II diabetes, psychological (self esteem, confidence issues, and depression) etc. Not only that, obese adolescents are much more likely to become obese adults. Thus these health problems will follow them through their lives.
It is important to prevent childhood obesity not only because of the above mentioned health problems, but also because of the financial strain it causes in the economy. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, “Childhood obesity alone carries a huge price tag – up to $14 billion annually in direct health-care costs.” Isn’t this another important reason for us to look into this seriously?
To reverse this rising trend, you guess it, we need to lead by example. We need to change both our lifestyles and the food that we are feeding them and ourselves. Remember “Children See, Children Do?”
In changing our lifestyles, we need to involve children in more outdoor games and activities that will make them sweat and move around. Be creative and remember to make it fun for them. End of the day, these games and activities will benefit you too.
The next part is changing the foods that we are feeding them and ourselves. As the saying goes, “We are what we eat.”
Quoting something from Dr. Marion Nestle, a doctorate in molecular biology and a master’s in public health nutrition, both from the University of California, Berkeley:
“…basic dietary principles are not in dispute: eat less (means to consume fewer calories); move more (need to balance calorie intake with physical activity); eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains; and avoid too much junk food (highly processed sweets and snacks laden with salt, sugars, and artificial additives).”
Last but not least, since children are spending a lot of their time in school, school has to make sure that the foods that are served to the children meet healthy standard too.
It is the responsibilities of both school and us to ensure the good health of children. With this combine effort, we can definitely reverse the rising trend of child obesity.
Frankly speaking, I am no expert or medical doctor and thus I cannot give you the answer to that. I guess no one can give you the definite answer too. According to a Yahoo! News by Associated Press, “… it’s too soon to tell.”
A prominent expert on global flu outbreaks, with the University of Minnesota, Michael Osterholm said, “What makes this so difficult is we may be somewhere between an important but yet still uneventful public health occurrence here — with something that could literally die out over the next couple of weeks and never show up again — or this could be the opening act of a full-fledged influenza pandemic.”
Yesterday, I was talking to a friend and the first thing she asked me is, “Have you read about the swine flu?” She is concerned and worried about how the swine flu can potentially kill a lot of people. Hopefully this will not go on to kill millions around the world, as pandemics did in 1918, 1957 and 1968.
Besides being concerned and worried about this, it is more important to take proactive measures to secure yourself and your family. Everyone has an important part to play to prevent the swine flu pandemic from happening.
Although flu shots have been offered in different nations, new types of flu viruses have remained a threat. So what can we do? The best bet will be to work on your immune system. With a stronger immune system, you body has a higher chance of winning battles against viruses.
How do we boost our immune systems? (These are not the only things you can do to boost your immune system. I am sure you can add more to this list. The important thing we should focus on is boosting our immune systems)
1. In a previous article, ‘C is the Alphabet to Healthy Life,’ which I posted, increasing your intake of Vitamin C could be a good start to boosting your immune system.
The good thing is Vitamin C is easily available in fruits and vegetables. The foods that are very rich in Vitamin C include green peppers, citrus fruits and juices, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, turnip greens and other leafy greens, sweet and white potatoes, and cantaloupe. I believe there are more foods which you can add to the list.
2. Drink plenty of water. How many times have you heard about the important of drinking water? And how many of us are doing it? The usual guideline is about 6-8 glasses of water everyday. My body has a way to let me know that it needs water – it protests by giving me headaches. Headaches and thirst are both signs of dehydration.
3. Get a full night’s sleep. Depending on individual, your body may need anywhere from 6 to 10 hours of sleep each night. According to an article on Vibe Health dated 27 February 2009, “Medical researchers are discovering that sleep may be the body’s way of recharging your immune system, explaining why poor sleepers are prone to infections and heart disease.”
4. Exercising. Exercise can make a noticeable difference to your health and happiness by releasing Endorphins. Moderate and consistent exercise help one to boost immune system and to sleep better. If you overdo it, it may do harm to your immune system instead.
5. Drinking Tea. Immunologists at Harvard University discovered that people who drank five cups of black tea a day for 2 weeks transformed their immune system T cells into “Hulk cells” that pumped out 10 times more cold and flu virus – fighting interferon — proteins that defend against infection — than did the immune systems of those who didn’t drink black tea. Green tea should work just as well.
While five cups a day may seem like a lot, Dr. Jack Bukowski of the Harvard Medical School thinks fewer cups may still offer some valuable protection. Moderation is important.
Besides following these points to boost immune system, we must also adopt good hygiene practices and be socially responsible:
1. Washing hands thoroughly and often especially if you have been out in the public. 2. People should avoid touching their mouth, nose or eyes with their hands unless they’ve washed their hands. 3. Using a serving spoon when sharing food. 4. Not spitting on the floor, covering nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and to throw it into garbage immediately. 5. Wearing masks when unwell.
Those who have flu-like symptoms are advised to seek medical help promptly, and inform the doctors of their travel history.
Although there is no way to control 100 percent on how the swine flu pandemic may evolve, we can do our parts to prevent it from affecting ourselves, our immediate families and friends. I hope these few points can inspire you to take proactive measures to boost your immune system. Wishing everyone great health!
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