“Lift Your Skirt, Save Your Life”

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month offers free Pap smear screening at 178 clinics.

The Singapore Cancer Society (SCS) is holding its 8th Cervical Cancer Awareness Month (CvCAM) in May 2013, in partnership with the Health Promotion Board, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS), Parkway Cancer Centre and the Singapore General Hospital. CVCAM 2013 aims to encourage more women to take advantage of free Pap smear screening services which will be offered at 178 clinics island-wide during the month of May.

About four decades ago, cervical cancer was the second most common cancer amongst Singaporean women (for the five-year period 1968 – 1972). It is currently ranked ninth. A total of 918 new cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed from 2007 – 2011. The age-standardised incidence rates (ASR) dropped from 17.6 women per 100,000 in 1972-1976 to 7 women per 100,000 in 2007-2011.

The decline in incidence rate is likely due to increased public awareness which resulted in more Singaporean women going for Pap smear screening as well as increasingly effective clinical management of pre-cancerous lesions. Despite the decrease in incidence rates, cervical cancer still strikes roughly 200 women and kills about 70 women in Singapore each year. Cervical cancer is highly preventable and curable when detected in its early stages.

Precancerous and cancerous changes in the cervix can be detected using the Pap smear test. The simple and safe test involves collecting cells from the cervix (neck of the womb).

Said Mr Albert Ching, CEO of SCS, ‘Cervical cancer is a preventable cancer and is curable if it is treated in the pre-cancerous stage. Singapore Cancer Society is committed to educating women on the risk factors and warning symptoms of cervical cancer. We also want to encourage regular Pap smear screening among women in our efforts to eradicate this cancer.”

Dr See Hui Ti, Chairman of the CvCAM Organizing Committee, said, “We are encouraged to see the rates of cervical cancer dropping rapidly to the current ranking of ninth. This is a perfect example of how improving awareness and promoting early screening and detection can prevent cancer. We hope to reach a wider and also a younger audience with the “Lift your Skirt, Save your Life” campaign which will be featured on social media platforms and public media to encourage women to be pro-active and go for their regular Pap smear screening. With the availability of Human Papilloma Virus Vaccinations, we are confident that cervical cancer will be knocked off the top ten list!”

Since 1969, SCS has been providing free Pap smear screening services at its clinic. On top of that, during the CvCAM month of May, SCS will make available free Pap smear screening at 178 clinics island-wide to all female Singaporeans and PRs aged 25 – 69 who are or have been sexually-active. During CvCAM last year, over 7000 women were screened through 136 participating clinics. This year, with a wider network of 178 clinics, SCS aims to screen more than 10,000 women.

The participating clinics are listed on SCS’ website, www.singaporecancersociety.org.sg. Members of the public can also call 6421 5867 or email cancerscreening@singaporecancersociety.org.sg for more information.

cervical cancer awareness month

“Lift Your Skirt, Save Your Life” Cervical Cancer Awareness Campaign 2013

The “Lift your skirt. Save your life” campaign is a call to action for women aged 25 and above to have their Pap smears regularly. Cervical cancer can be detected early through regular Pap smears and early detection saves lives.

Ashleigh Sim, a cancer survivor, provided pro bono photography direction to the campaign, to encourage women to take charge of their health and take the first steps in being an active partner with their healthcare providers in saying “No!” to cervical cancer.

One of the campaign spokespersons, 987FM DJ Rosalyn Lee said, “I had my close brush with cervical cancer when I went for a full body medical check-up which included a pap smear. Cervical cancer is curable if discovered during its pre cancer stages, so early detection by way of a pap smear is vital. I hope that by lending my voice to this campaign, more women would be aware, and more lives can be saved.”

From 1 to 31 May 2013, all female Singaporeans and PR aged 25 – 69 years old, can enjoy FREE Pap smear screening at participating clinics island-wide.

Click here for the list of participating clinics. Please call the respective clinics to make an appointment.

For more information, visit www.singaporecancersociety.org.sg/wwd-health-talks-cervical-cancer-awareness.shtml