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Dr Quek Swee Chong, Medical Director of Parkway Gynaecology Screening & Treatment Centre, talks about how women can prevent some of the top 10 cancers in Singapore.
Cervical cancer: The 100 per cent preventable cancer
There’s a reason why cervical cancer has dropped from fifth place to last on the top 10 cancer chart in Singapore: it is the one cancer that is almost completely preventable.
The cancer is related to the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which has about 150 types but only around 13 of them cause cancer, with the top two types namely 16 and 18, causing 70 per cent of cervical cancer. The virus is most susceptible to women who are sexually active, and therefore the vaccines, Cervarix and Gardasil, are best administered to young girls, preferably before they start sexual activity.
Both vaccines are considered safe by the World Health Organization, which has run many tests on either drug. It uses an empty shell of the virus to prevent 70 to 80 per cent of cervical cancer. Both Cervarix and Gardasil consist of three doses to be administered over six months.
Women who :
In the early stages, the cancer may not show any symptoms. But as it progresses, watch out for these signs:
Breast cancer: The most common gynaecological cancer
More than 25 per cent of cancers diagnosed in women are breast cancers and the risk increases with age. You can take steps to monitor your breasts so as to be aware of any anomalies and changes.
How to perform breast self-examinations
Self-examinations will get you used to how your breasts feel, so when there are changes, you will be able to tell. Observe your breasts carefully while going through the motions.
1. Look at your breasts
2. Feel your breasts
3. Squeeze your nipples gently
Ovarian cancer: The cancer with no ideal test (yet)
Women with a family history of ovarian cancer have the highest risk of developing ovarian cancer. There is no ideal screening test for this yet but an ultrasound scan will usually be performed to detect ovarian cancer.
Uterine cancer: The most common cancer in developed countries
Uterine cancer – also known as endometrial cancer – is fed by estrogen, and apart from the ovaries, fat cells in the body can also produce estrogen. One of the reasons that women in developed countries are getting more uterine cancers is that they generally have fewer children. Another reason is that obesity that results from excessive eating and a sedentary lifestyle can predispose to uterine cancer.
Did you know?
|POSTED IN||Cancer Prevention|
|TAGS||cancer ultrasound , dr quek swee chong , germ cell cancer , human papillomavirus (HPV) cancer , pap smears , uterine cancer , vaccination , women (gynaecological) cancer|
|READ MORE ABOUT||Breast Cancer , Cervical Cancer , Endometrial Cancer , Ovarian Cancer|