Breast and gynaecological cancers and HPV are currently among the most common concerns among adult women, often festering silently due to prevailing taboos. Yet, there is no better way to battle these killer diseases than being on guard.
To create awareness, the Dhaka office of Parkway Hospitals Singapore, in collaboration with Mount Elizabeth Hospital and Parkway Cancer Centre Singapore, organised a lifestyle and health seminar at Lakeshore Hotel in Dhaka on December 2.
Early detection and regular checkups are the only way to fighting and surviving cancer, said Max Tan, marketing manager of Parkway Cancer Centre, Singapore. Tan spoke from professional as well as personal experience, as both his sister and wife are breast cancer patients.
Although a major concern for women, not all breast related problems lead to cancer, said Dr. Tan Yah Yuen, senior consultant, breast surgery at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore.
And not all patients who get breast cancer need to remove their affected breast(s) completely, she added. From incisions to removing small growths to mastectomy as the final resort, she explained all options and also elaborated on various methods of breast reconstruction.
For many women, ovarian cancer is a silent killer as it goes unnoticed until it reaches a critical stage, said Lisa Wong, senior consultant for obstetrics and gynaecology at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore. She highlighted the importance of pap smears as well vaccination against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) as methods of early detection and prevention for cervical, uterine and ovarian cancer. She also spoke of various surgery methods such as minimally invasive techniques like keyhole surgery and robotic surgery.
For all women, doctors recommend regular self-examination to detect any kind of anomalies in the breasts. To this end, Charlotte Lim, senior nurse at Parkway Cancer Centre, Singapore, took the stage to talk about breast self-examination. The first and only thing to do if an anomaly is felt in any part of the breast is to go see a doctor, she said. The self-examination process was also detailed in the brochures handed out to all attendees.
Pap smears should continue up to the age of seventy, but in case of anomalies, the frequency should increase, Dr. Wong said.
The other side of cancer is the mental pressure, and onset of depression that grips not only the patient but the family and friends as well.
The patient needs to understand that this is a war that has to be fought with as much strength as possible, and everybody should be supported to feel and look beautiful, said Afroza Parveen, owner and CEO of RED beauty parlour and salon in Banani.
The programme styled 'Don't Let Breast and Gynaecological Cancer Steal your Second Base' ended on a light note, with a competition on Healthy Drink Making with Chef Daniel C. Gomes
Photo: Mount Elizabeth Hospital Singapore-Dhaka Office