Monday, July 6, 2009

Mei Fun : Four women diagnosed with cervical cancer each day

The Star News Saturday July 4, 2009

EACH day, an average of four women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, an ailment which is preventable if detected early.

Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun said cervical cancer was the second most common cancer among women in Malaysia, after breast cancer.

No pain: Chew being being checked for her glucose level at the Utar cervical cancer and health awareness campaign. Looking on are Chua (third from left, in suit and red tie) and Selangor CSRM chief and national medical unit head Dr Lai Kwong Choy

“Unfortunately, not many women are coming forward to be screened for these two cancers.
“Studies done by the National Population and Family Development Board in 2004 showed that only 53.2% of women had breast examinations done and only 50.6% had ever done a Pap smear.

“Cervical cancer can be prevented and eliminated and the first vaccine was approved here a few years ago,” she said at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman’s (Utar) cervical cancer and health awareness campaign in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday.

Jointly organised with MCA’s National Crisis Relief Squad (CRSM) Foundation, the campaign included free health talk and screening, breast and Pap smear checks and subsidised vaccine shots for students and staff of Utar.

According to the National Cancer Registry 2003 data, about half of all women diagnosed with cervical cancer were aged between 35 and 55 years.

Most of these women were likely to be exposed to Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a viral infection, during their teens and 20s, she said.

“In the peninsula, 13.4 out of 100,000 females aged between 15 and 49 years and 62.9 of 100,000 women aged between 50 and 69 years are diagnosed with cervical cancer,” she added.

Chew, who is also CRSM chief, said health talks and campaigns had increased cervical cancer awareness but more needed to be done.

On the A(H1N1) influenza, Chew said CRSM had distributed more than 100,000 flyers and mobilised its staff to create more awareness, including in schools and homes.

Utar president Professor Datuk Dr Chua Hean Teik said they were looking into setting up a junior CRSM squad in Utar to encourage more students to help with crisis relief.

No comments: