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.
Who are at risk? According to the HPB FAQ section for cervical cancer,
All women aged between 25 and 69 who:
Ever had sex Had multiple sexual partners Had sexually transmitted infections (STI) e.g. genital warts, genital herpes and HPV infection Smoke
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!
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