EARLY DETECTION CAN SAVE YOU
When was the last time you did a Pap smear?
“Cervical Cancer can happen to anyone and regular Pap smear once in 3 years can detect Cervical Cancer symptoms early and help prevent it.” A/Prof Anne Goh President of Singapore Pediatric Society
Before Singapore Cancer Society’s prevention program, over 500,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, making it the 2nd most common cancer affecting women. After the prevention program was implemented, cervical cancer dropped from 2nd to 8th. It is believed that one who dies from cervical cancer is one who dies from neglect because cervical cancer is a preventable cancer with early detection.
Who is at risk? Women who are 25 to 69 years old and are sexually active. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact mainly sexual intercourse or contact at genital area. There are 130 different types of HPV but only 15 cause cancer. Infection by HPV is very common and is easily transmitted, therefore any sexually active woman is at risk. HPV infections caused by the HPV 16, HPV 18, HPV 31 and HPV 45 are the most frequent and aggressive types of HPV for Cervical Cancer.
What a Pap smear can do?
– Regular Pap smear can detect any abnormalities or changes in cervical cells that may develop into cervical cancer.
– Doctors can treat cervical cancer at the pre-cancer early stage.
– One normal Pap smear IS NOT ENOUGH, cervical cancer has no signs or symptoms, hence regular Pap smear is advised.
Vaccination against HPV infection.
The best time to be vaccinated is prior to sexual debut or between 9 to 26 years old. It is proven to protect thousands of women in the clinical trials who are already sexually active and also a form of preventive measure before women are infected.
90 percent of all HPV infections clear up by themselves and the affected cells in the cervix return to normal. In cases where HPV infection continues, cells will mutate and become cancerous if left untreated or detected. Do not throw your life away, it is only a pap smear away.
Singapore Cancer Society
Telephone: +65 6499 9133
Free Pap smear for Singapore citizens or Permanent Residents.