Cancer: Cervical second among Sabah women
Published on: Monday, June 24, 2019
By: Sherell Jeffrey
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KOTA KINABALU: Cervical cancer is the second leading cancer after breast cancer among women in Sabah, according to the Sabah Cancer Registry Report 2006-2010. 

State Health Department’s Principal Assistant Director of the Non-Communicable Disease Unit Dr Nirmal Kaur, in her talk on cervical cancer awareness, said the top three cancers among women in Sabah are breast cancer, followed by cervical cancer and colorectal cancer. 

The talk was organised by the Club of Kota Kinabalu Pearl District 3310 led by its President, Datuk Dr Tarsiah TZ Taman, in conjunction with their medical outreach programme and cervical cancer screening held at the Wisma Wanita, here, Saturday.  

The programme is supported by the State Health and People’s Wellbeing Ministry, the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) and the Sabah Women’s Affairs Department (Jhewa). 

Dr Kaur went on to say that they can detect breast and cervical cancer early as there are screening procedure for these two most common cancer among women in the State. 

She said women can either do breast self-examination or go to the nearest clinic where the nurse will help do a breast examination for them. 

“If they notice any lump, they will refer you to the nearest hospital for further treatment,” she said. 

Another mechanism to screen early for breast cancer is to go for mammogram once one reaches 40. 

“By doing mammogram, we can detect early if there is any lumps in the breast,” she said.  Whereas for cervical cancer, screening method involves going for Pap smear once one is sexually active.

She said the common cause for cervical cancer is Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which is number 16 and 18.

As an early preventive measure, the Ministry of Health has come up with a school immunisation programme for female students at the age of 13, where they are given three doses. The immunisation programme is given free at government schools. 

On her advice to the public, she said people should lead a healthy lifestyle and that includes eating healthily and exercise in one’s daily life.

“What is recommended by the Ministry is to exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes to stay healthy,” she said.

She also urged women to go for every screening procedures available at the nearest government health clinic or private clinics. 

Meanwhile, Tarsiah said they will continue collaboration with the Ministry, LPPKN and Jhewa to raise awareness on the importance of health screening among women across the State.

She also said that they hope to have enough funds to carrying out more health screening programmes especially in the interiors by end of this year. 

“We have yet to identify the locations, we will need to discuss with all our partners, our aim is to raise awareness on preventive measures and health screening is one way to do it,” she said. 

It was learnt that a pap smear screening was also carried out in Pitas and Tuaran last year, where a majority tested normal, while only a few had problems. 

Also present was Acting LPPKN Sabah Director, Suzanna Piny, among others. 


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