Medical department pushes for regular cervical cancer screening

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The Department of Medical Sciences in Thailand is spearheading a campaign to encourage women aged between 30 and 60 years old to undergo regular cervical cancer screening. The initiative follows a recent revelation that approximately 10 million sexually active Thai women have never undergone a human papillomavirus (HPV) test.

The department’s director-general, Yongyot Thammawut, highlighted the severity of the issue, noting that cervical cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers among Thai women. He stated that approximately 15 new cases are diagnosed daily, leading to around 2,200 deaths annually.

HPV, primarily transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse and other high-risk sexual activities, is the principal cause of cervical cancer. However, Yongyot emphasised that the disease could be prevented through HPV vaccination and regular screening.

Despite the public health ministry’s efforts to motivate Thai women aged 30 or older to undergo cervical cancer screening every five years, the response has been underwhelming. Last year’s data revealed that Bangkok had the lowest number of female residents who had received an HPV screening test. Only 30,000 women reported undergoing an annual HPV test.

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The data also show that over 10 million Thai women have never received cervical cancer screening. In response, the Department of Medical Sciences is facilitating more accessible cancer testing via HPV DNA self-sampling.

The initiative offers free self-sampling kits to female citizens aged between 30 and 60 years old who are registered with the National Health Security Office (NHSO). The kits can be obtained through the government’s Pao Tang application or at designated locations near their homes. Bangkok residents can also collect their kits from the Health Department’s office.

To promote the initiative and encourage participation, the Department of Medical Sciences is collaborating with the Health Department of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. The project aims to motivate Thai women who have never received cervical cancer screening to undergo the test, as many may be hesitant or fearful to do so, reported Bangkok Post.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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