As women, we have come a long way and even though we may still be fighting for our voices to be heard, it's important for us to remember to take care of ourselves before we want to take over the world.
Cervical cancer is more common than you think, so here are some important points you should know:
1. Knowledge is power
The National Cancer Centre of Singapore reports that cervical cancer is one of the top ten most common cancer amongst women in the country.
It used to be the second (after breast cancer), but because more women are getting screened and becoming aware about the importance of reproductive health, this number has drastically fallen.
2. The best protection is early detection
You only have to go for a test once every three years -- which is longer than the duration of National Service duty our dear husbands had to endure.
Go on ladies, take one for the team!
3. There is a cure
Despite being a common cancer, according to the Singapore Cancer Society (SCS) cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers and it is also curable if detected early.
So it's important that you practice self-care by watching your health and always remember to go for your scheduled pap smears!
4. You are not slut
But whether you have a history of random hook-ups, or you're in a committed relationship, you can still be at risk of developing cervical cancer (so enough with the slut-shaming already).
5. Don't wait, vaccinate!
Instead of going for manicures with your best friend, ask her to accompany you to get vaccinated instead (and then go get your nails done afterwards, because you sure deserve it!).
6. Yes, all men
It is better for women to seek HPV vaccination earlier as by the age of 26, most people would have likely already been exposed to HPV infections.
Actually, it is also recommended for boys and men to get vaccinated, so tell your man to wipe that smug smile off his face.
7. Kick the bad habits
Save your hard-earned money and treat yourself to some avocado toast for brunch and get that cute new lip gloss instead, girl!
8. Cancer sucks
The cervical cancer-causing HPV can also cause other forms of cancers, such as cancer of the:
- Back of the throat
- Base of the tongue
Your friends love you, your family loves you, your children love you, your spouse loves you, and most importantly you should love yourself.
So take charge of your own body and remember to get yourself vaccinated and tested to prevent cervical cancer!
Pap smears are available at all polyclinics, most hospitals and private clinics. FREE screening services are also currently being offered by SCS (from 2nd May to 31st July). For more information, visit: www.singaporecancersociety.org.sg/events/campaigns/women-s-gynaecological-cancer-campaign.html