Cervical cancer is the 2nd most common female cancer amongst women aged 15 to 44 years in Indonesia, India, China, Malaysia, Thailand and The Philippines. And it ranks 1st in Myanmar and 4th in Singapore.1 The good news – not only is cervical cancer highly treatable if detected early via a Pap smear, but it is also unique amongst cancers in that it can be vaccinated against.
Highly treatable if detected early
Cervical cancer can be detected via a Pap smear test. Like all tests, the Pap smear is unfortunately not 100% accurate. This is because the result is based on a very small sample of cells present in the cervical area. Early cell changes will not be detected if the smear does not contain enough abnormal cells.
It is therefore important to have the Pap smear done regularly, at least once every 3 years.
Find out more about Pap smear here: link
Early detection aside, can cervical cancer be prevented?
Cervical cancer is unique among cancers in that it has a vaccine – the HPV vaccination – which is 70% effective.
What is HPV?
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a virus that exists in more than 100 different sub-types, 30 to 40 of which infect the genital area and can cause warts in both men and women. Specifically, HPV sub-types 16 & 18 cause about 70% of cervical cancer cases in women, while HPV sub- types 6 & 11 cause about 90% of genital wart cases. It is also a cause of anal or penile cancer in men.
How safe and effective is the HPV vaccine?
HPV vaccination is recommended by the American Cancer Society and the Singapore Ministry of Health.
In Singapore, the vaccine is recommended for females 9 to 26 years2 of age and is included in the National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS). It is preferable that the recipient not have had any prior sexual intercourse as that would risk being already exposed to HPV.
The two vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix, approved for use in Singapore, are deemed safe and effective. Gardasil 9, which is also available on request, covers against more HPV sub-types and is pending approval.
Medical journals support the effectiveness of the vaccine:
Read more here: link
What is the vaccination procedure?
Men and women receive the HPV vaccines administered in 3 doses over a 6-month period.
What if I live overseas and HPV is not available in my home country?
You have the option to have the first vaccination in Singapore and:
- Return to Singapore for your second and third vaccination, or
- While not recommended, patients may bring vaccines 2 and 3 back to their home country to be self-administered, at their own risk
How much does it cost?
~S$650, inclusive of doctor fees and 3 HPV vaccine injections.
Find out more about HPV vaccination here: link
How can Ulink help?
We help our clients arrange consultations with the best gynaecologists in Singapore. In their care, you can be assured that HPV vaccination and pap smear tests are administered with the upmost attention to quality and that screening results are interpreted accurately.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +65 6835 0388