Get screened

by | May 7, 2024

Roche launches National Women’s Check-Up Week for the second year.



Biotechnology company Roche has launched National Women’s Check-Up Week (NWCW) in Singapore for the second year to empower women to take action and control of their own health. In collaboration with organisations including Singapore Cancer Society (SCS), the #MakeTheMostImportantDate campaign will coincide with Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 12, 2024.

According to SCS, “Cervical cancer is the 10th most common cancer among women in Singapore. It is however a highly preventable cancer because we are able to catch the precancerous stages caused by the persistent high risk or cancer-causing HPV infection using a very reliable and affordable cervical smear test.”

All women between the ages of 25 and 69 years old who has ever had sexual activity are recommended to go for their regular cervical smear (also known as Pap test).

The NWCW campaign launches following data from a new data from a new Asia-Pacific wide survey conducted by Roche, which revealed that women are de-prioritising their health, while fundamental gaps around cervical cancer continue to persist. The survey, which explored awareness and attitudes of women’s health with almost 3,000 women in the Asia-Pacific region, exposed three key barriers holding women back:

  • Women are time-poor: Almost half of women put the needs of their family before their own, often delaying or even stopping medical treatment as a result.
  • Fear: More than one-third of women have never had a cervical screening and are not planning to. Women voiced concerns of feeling anxious before a cervical cancer check-up due to perceived pain and discomfort (17 percent), fear over the results (17 percent) or feeling embarrassed, as the key reasons for not screening.
  • Gaps in awareness and support: Although this is not the case in Singapore, more than half of women surveyed in Asia have little to no knowledge of women’s health tests and screenings, including cervical cancer diagnostic methods. Many women are also not getting screened as they presume there is nothing wrong with them. Waiting for symptoms to show can be fatally too late for women.

Dr Ida Ismail-Pratt, president of the Society of Colposcopy & Cervical Pathology Singapore (SCCPS) and committee member of the SCS Women’s Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month Committee, said, “This new survey reinforces an urgent need to reduce barriers and intensify efforts to ensure women feel supported when it comes to their health. As the current data in Singapore suggests almost 90 percent of women are aware of cervical screening tests, yet screening uptake continues to be low. Only two in five women aged between 25 to 74 years have been for a cervical cancer screening in the last three to five years. This indicates despite high awareness of cervical tests; unfortunately, Singaporean women are still not taking action.

“Cervical cancer can be prevented, and no woman should have to suffer from the disease. Screenings are the first and most important step to save lives”, she added.

Besides Singapore, Roche will also be collaborating with local patient organisations to launch the first-ever National Women’s Checkup Week across four markets in Asia, including Hong Kong, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand.

By encouraging conversations on the importance of cervical testing it is hoped that stigmas, barriers, and shame associated with cervical cancer can be lowered. The campaign aims to inspire women and amplify the importance of fostering a culture of self-care, where women taking care of their health is celebrated and encouraged. Activities including women’s health talks, screening and community events will run from May 5 to 12, 2024. SCS will also be offering free screening in conjunction with NWCW. Women may book their screenings here.



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