KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 — Pantai Hospital Ampang (PHA) has set up a booth to offer free general health screenings to the public, as well as raise awareness on the importance of protecting women’s health. This campaign is ongoing until October 31, 2021.
The risks of developing diseases, including cancer, have increased in recent years, with obesity on the rise, diets heavily featuring processed foods, and high stress levels.
This is why screenings are crucial for prevention. In the event of health anomalies, early detection is key in efficiently and successfully treating them.
There are a variety of screenings, and a health professional will be able to recommend the ones best suited to your needs, taking into account your age and risk factors, such as obesity, smoking, drinking, and family history.
“Women in their 20s and 30s are encouraged to go for regular pap smears. They can help detect sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), cervical cancer, and infections. In fact, more than 90 per cent of cervical cancer cases start off as an HPV infection — which can be easily treated if detected at its pre-cancerous stage,” said Dr Ong Syl Fyn.
She adds that for this age category, a breast ultrasound is recommended as opposed to a mammogram. This is because younger breast tissue is very dense, so health irregularities may be missed on a mammogram.
In addition, while a mammogram is able to pick up micro particles that indicate early stages of cancer, it can sometimes miss simple lumps and cysts. However, a breast ultrasound can detect these lumps and cysts that are often benign.
Next, women who experience very heavy menses or those wishing to start a family should consider a pelvic ultrasound to look out for uterine fibroids, which are relatively common. Depending on the position and size of the fibroid, it could affect a woman’s fertility.
Meanwhile, women in their 40s and above should opt for a mammogram and breast ultrasound combination. For post-menopausal women, their risks of hypertension and heart problems will increase as well.
Therefore, no matter a woman’s age, it is crucial to go for regular screenings and allow health professionals to guide and recommend the best course of action for you.