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Phuket hospitals join fight against breast, cervical cancer

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Phuket hospitals join fight against breast, cervical cancer | Thaiger

PHUKET: Two of Phuket’s major international hospitals will be providing discount breast and cervical cancer screening packages throughout August.

Urairat Atiset, president of the Phuket chapter of the Business and Professional Women’s Association (BPW) of Thailand, today announced that Bangkok Hospital Phuket (BHP) and Phuket International Hospital (PIH) will be offering the breast and cervical cancer examinations for 3,000 baht.

The cancer awareness campaign is being held in honor of HM Queen Sirikit’s birthday on August 12 and Thai Women’s Day on August 1, she explained.

The normal prices for the combined examinations are 5,200 baht at BHP and 4,100 baht at PIH.

At a press conference today to promote the campaign, BHP Deputy Director Dr Bodin La-ied said the hospital now has the latest digital mammogram technology available.

“It is a fast and highly accurate machine. We conduct an average of 100 exams a month and of those about five require surgery for breast cancer,” he said.

Dr Bodin was also confident in the hospital’s method of detecting cervical cancer: a pap test developed by ThinPrep that he described as the “most accurate method in the world”.

“Each year we find about 300 cases of early-stage cervical cancer, and there is a 100 per cent cure rate for such cases.

“I think Phuket residents are very conscious of their health and regularly get checkups – especially for breast and cervical cancer,” he said.

Dr Attawut Chuathong, a surgical oncology specialist at BHP, said that according to Ministry of Public Health information from 2009, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Thailand.

“It’s fortunate that we have screening tests to detect cancer in the early stages. However, right now we still don’t know the actual cause of breast cancer.

“What we do know is that according to National Cancer Institute statistics from 2000, breast cancer starts to appear in women aged about 35 to 40. We suggest every woman over the age of 40 is screened each year,” he said.

Dr Manop Janthanaphan, an obstetrician and gynecologist at PIH, said that cervical cancer is usually caused by a viral infection, mainly from sexual intercourse.

“I suggest any woman to have a screening done after three years of having sexual intercourse for the first time. After that, they should go for a screening every year until they are 70 years old,” he explained.

Dr Manop, who also screens patients at Vachira Phuket Hospital, said:

“We find about one new case per week in the early stages of cervical cancer. I think awareness about screening tests nowadays is getting better in Phuket.

“People have paid more attention to their health, so we can treat them better and possibly cure them – sometimes before it develops into cervical cancer,” he said.

“Cervical cancer used to be the number-one cancer found in women, but now it has become number two. The number of patients is decreasing because of government support, awarenes,s and the introduction of vaccines in the past three to four years,” he added.

Anyone – Thai or non-Thai – interested in the examination can request coupons at PIH (T: 076-249400), BHP (T: 1719) or the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (T: 076-212297).

— Janpen Upatising


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