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We have heard of medical health checkups one too many times before. Doctors are always advising to undergo full-body checkups at least once a year right? But in Malaysia, less light is shed on women’s health screening and how it is equally essential as regular medical check-ups.
Growing Importance of Women Health Screening in Malaysia
Performed at least once a year to stay abreast of our health conditions, there are various reasons why pemeriksaan kesihatan adalah penting for all including to attain an accurate diagnosis of your diseases as well as early detection to undergo treatments before it gets more severe. Without ever knowing, you might be carrying a chronic disease without symptoms! Did you know that cervical cancer is the third-highest among the types of cancer affecting women in Malaysia?
Current Statistics of Women’s Health In Malaysia
The Sun Daily reported that the lifetime risk of women living in Malaysia being diagnosed with cervical cancer is one in 144. Such incidences rise after 35 years old and peak between 54 to 65 years old. However, the participation of women in screening and preventive programmes was still low.
Even though the incidence rate of cervical cancer is high, many women still have never gone for a pap smear!
According to an obstetric and gynaecology specialist Dr John Teo, the reason may be due to embarrassment with such an intimate procedure and the fear of bad news. He also said that some might be feeling anxious that the procedure could be painful.
According to Deputy Women, Family, and Community Development Minister Datuk Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff, cervical cancer is a significant health issue for women besides breast and ovarian cancer. She also said that 80% of women had not undergone mammogram screening, with 34.1 cases per 100,000 women, which would cause them to be more prone to the risk of having breast cancer.
Crucial Tests for Women
Full Blood Test
It is necessary to undergo a full blood test to know and understand your general state of health. As our age increases, there is a higher risk of being diagnosed with certain illnesses based on our lifestyle habits, genetics, environmental stress, etc.
The best time to begin your medical health screening journey is preferably at the age of 20 onwards. Every woman should undergo basic full blood tests, including blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol level.
These early health screenings are not only for diagnosis purposes, but they will be an excellent indicator for women to apply some creative lifestyle changes to live a healthier and sustainable life. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.
Some might be carrying out breast self-examinations at home. However, it’s crucial to seek a medical professional to have your breasts examined and undergo mammography to detect the staging of breast lumps and abnormalities.
Medical professionals will recommend an ultrasound or a mammogram for a better diagnosis. Breast examinations or ultrasounds are for women in their 20s and 30s. Mammograms are usually for women above 40. Since incidences of breast cancer are increasing, women must not neglect this health check-up any longer.
Cervical Cancer Screening
Pap smears were once recommended for sexually active women, but nowadays, all women are encouraged to undergo pelvic examinations and pap smears at least yearly. Gynaecologists usually will perform a pelvic exam, at times with the help of an ultrasound to check reproductive organs. The procedure involves a small scraping of cells from the cervix opening to detect pre-cancerous or cancerous cells.
Obstetrics and gynaecology specialist Dr Badrul Zaman Abdullah, a member of the Malaysian Gynecologic Cancer Society, said it’s advisable for women to know the criteria to be eligible for a free pap smear at public hospitals and clinics.
Dr Badrul Zaman said that sexually active women between the ages of 30 to 65 are encouraged to undergo a pap smear in any public healthcare facility that provides cervical cancer screening tests. He also said when met with all the given criteria, women are eligible for free pap smear tests, regardless of whether they are married.
HIV Blood Test
Suppose a woman whose partner or spouse is infected with HIV, or she/her partner is practising homosexuality or any woman who has multiple sexual partners. In that case, it’s essential to get screened for HIV. To get yourself screened for HIV, please go to any public health clinic or hospital to request an HIV test. The physician in charge would give counselling regarding the test.
QM Care Women Health Screening Packages
We provide a wide range of the best health screening packages for women, consisting of a full blood test, HIV screening, and even ovarian cancer screening here at QM Care by QueueMed Asia. Thus, if you wish to undergo a health screening, contact us here or call us at +603 3310 0097 to book an appointment today!
- The Sun Daily: Snag in Efforts to Encourage Cervical Cancer Screening
- The Star: Cervical Cancer Third Highest Cancer among Malaysian Women
- Malaysia Healthcare Org: Three Health Checks Every Woman Should Do
- MyHealth Org: Anonymous HIV Testing