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“NONE of my friends had one” This Tweet Proves That Most M’sian Women Are Still Not Getting Pap Smears


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Source:The Conversation & Nilai Medical Centre & Sharifah Hani | Twitter

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Cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the world, and although its incidence is nearly entirely preventable, it is reported that not enough young people are getting screened.

Recently, netizen Sharifah Hani Yasmin shared via Twitter her experience in getting a pap smear check-up. Her post reads, “Had my first pap smear today and spoke to a few friends – NONE of them have been to one.”

She urged women to get checked and said that “If you’re a woman between 20 to 30 years old, you NEED to have a pap smear check for cervical cancer/abnormalities. It’s free in some places and takes just 15 mins!”

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She then added that it is, “Especially recommended for married women since risks increase after sexual relations. Most clinics offer it for under RM40. Stay safe & take care of your health!”

“Early detection and treatment can save your life,” added Sharifah with a link to Homage Malaysia’s page consisting of extensive information on pap smears.

According to a study conducted by BMC Women’s Health titled “Barriers and facilitators for cervical cancer screening among adolescents and young people: a systematic review”, there are many barriers to cervical cancer screening (CCS) among adolescents and young people globally.

The study said that the most common barriers were: lack of knowledge and awareness, the negative perceptions of testing as well as systemic barriers on an organisational level.

These barriers are exemplified by the Malaysian Medics International (MMI) Malaysia who pointed out that although the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) revealed that the percentage of women who underwent cervical screening increased from 26 per cent in 1996 to 43.7 per cent in 2006, as of 2011, this percentage has dropped to 12.8 per cent.


Reactions from netizens prove that barriers need to be broken

Sharifah’s post has attracted plenty of attention and currently sits on over 3,000 likes and 2,800 shares. Many netizens took to her tweet to spread awareness on why more women should go for checks.

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Meanwhile some women expressed their fear over getting the check as some have reported that it is extremely uncomfortable and painful at times. The process involves the doctor gently inserting a lubricated speculum (a duck-bill-shaped instrument made of plastic or metal which functions to spread the vaginal walls).

After visually inspecting your cervix, the healthcare provider will then use a brush or cotton swab to collect cells in two places of the cervix: the ectocervix, which is the part closest to the vagina, and the endocervix which is closest to the uterus. Doctors also call the endocervix the transformation zone since this is where cervical cancer usually develops.

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Let’s hope and encourage more and more of our women to get checked! Early detection is always much better than finding out a little too late,

Have you ever had yourself checked? Let us know in the comments.


Also read: “It’s different for each woman” M’sian Survivors Share How They Live With PCOS

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Source: Twitter
Source: Twitter
Source: Twitter
Source: Twitter
Source: Twitter
Source: Twitter
Source: Twitter

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