A record number of women with the age of 15-55 are being diagnosed with cervical cancer in Indonesia. One study in Indonesia has shown that Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a causative agent of cervical cancer. It was detected 96% in cervical cancer patients. “But we don’t know what causes breast cancer yet.”
Padang – As a form of awareness, VDMS Alumni Association of West Sumatra held Cervical and Breast Awareness, Saturday (15/6). It is considered that cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. From some main types of cancer, cervical and breast cancer cause the most cancer deaths each year. The data from thirteen pathology centers in Indonesia in 2012 shows that cervical cancer stands as the first-ranked among all cancer (23.43% from 10 most common cancers among men and women; 31.10% from 10 most common cancers among women).
“In the last 5 years this deadly cancer is approaching the incidence of cervical cancer that is ranked as the number one cancer among women in Indonesia and next to breast cancer. It can be said that cervical and breast cancer rates are rising globally,” said dr. Melinda as a speaker on Cervical and Breast Awareness: Show your care, be aware at Balairung Caraka Bung Hatta University, Padang.
The lack of an effective screening and treatment program is the main reason why the rate of cervical cancer is higher in Indonesia. A record number of women with the age of 15-55 are being diagnosed with cervical cancer in Indonesia. One study in Indonesia has shown that Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a causative agent of cervical cancer. It was detected 96% in cervical cancer patients. “With the introduction of regular screening with the Pap Smear, the incidence and mortality rates for cervical cancer have declined by 70-80% and 90%, in Indonesia.”
According to the Indonesia Health Profile issued by the Ministry of Health in 2008, there are approximately 15.000 new cases of cervical cancers and 8.200 new cases of breast cancers detected each year. Most cases are detected in the later, more lethal stages.
People’s lack of knowledge of breast cancer worsenes the condition and increases the number of breast cancer cases every year. “Because of that, many people will ignore early symptoms and signs of this breast cancer, so that they will come at the late stadium.”
However, there are plenty of risk factors and early warning signs to be aware of when it comes to breast cancer. With a family member that had breast cancer one has twice the probability of getting the cancer. Women who get their first menstrual periods before they are 10 years old and those who experience menopause above 55 years old should also watch out for any breast abnormalities.
“Hormonal contraceptives, such as birth-control pills, as well as hormonal replacement therapies may also increase your risks of getting breast cancer.” Therefore, the doctor encourages women over 40 years old to schedule a mammogram once a year at the hospital.
“Although breast cancer is more common in older women, it’s worrying to see an increase in the number of younger women diagnosed with the disease. We must invest in vital research for new treatments and disease prevention,” said a doctor who also works at the Public Health Department in Padang.
In front of 114 participants – who consist of university students, students and society – dr. Melinda asked participants to conduct self-breast examinations called “Sadari” (Periksa Payudara Sendiri). It is the best method if conducted from the seventh to the tenth day of the female’s monthly cycle.
“You should do it when taking a bath as the skin will be moist and tender, it will make it easier for you to detect any unusual lumps.” The doctor suggested that as you soap your body, you should make circular movements with your hands starting from the nipples and outward to the armpits, collarbones and thoracic diaphragm.
“You should check for any lumps, thickenings or hardened knots in these areas,” she said. You can also do the self-examination by standing in front of a mirror with both of your hands raised. Look for any swelling, dimpling of the skin or puckering of the nipples.
When the cancer has metastasized and affected other organs, chemotherapy is usually the option. During the treatment, the doctor will infuse the patients with “chemo cocktails,” or a solution of drugs to kill the cancerous tissues.
One of participants Irma Pebriyani, Biology student from State University of Padang said to be fully satisfied by following this event. She confessed to be aware of how to stay healthy and avoiding an unhealthy diet. “Now I know what should I do to protect myself from cervical and breast cancer.”
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Afdal Ade Hendrayana