Please take responsibility – this affects us all. According to the Health Authority Abu Dhabi, Cervical Cancer is the second leading cancer in the UAE and, not wanting to scare everyone, it is the seventh cause of death for us, dear ladies, in the UAE. Worldwide it is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related deaths among women.
Statistics show there will be a 25% increase in Cervical Cancer over the next 10 years. That’s a scary statistic, however, if caught early, it is curable. This is the reason PAP smear tests are vital.
It is wise to be aware that HPV (Human PapillomaVirus) lies dormant in most of us. This is the virus which may lead to Cervical Cancer in women. Each and every one of us (including men – why? See below) should be fully aware of this cancer and what we can do to help prevent its spread. Advice from the medical professionals is there for a reason. They know the probabilities and other healthcare factors – their main advice is ‘go for a PAP smear’.
By the way, PAP is an abbreviation of Papanicolaou, (yip, I’d have difficulty pronouncing that too!) the Greek doctor who developed the test. The PAP Smear is a microscopic examination of cells taken from the cervix. There is nothing to fear from a smear! The Zulekha Hospital consultant will talk you through the procedure – simple!
A great event at the W Hotel in Business Bay, Dubai, on Monday 1st May 2017 brought together a group of brilliant individuals in the healthcare service to bring awareness to their Chance to Change campaign. This is an initiative by Zulekha Hospital (in Dubai and Sharjah). The hospitals are easy to find and there are excellent location maps (including Makani references) on their website.
Dr Pamela Munster, Ambassador for Chance to Change, opened the discussion on Monday evening and explained the absolute necessity to have a PAP/Smear test every 3 to 5 years (depending on age and other factors – get advice from your doctor). She also stated the importance of a healthy lifestyle including making healthy choices in food and exercise.
As always, prevention is the best course of action against (what could be a killer) disease and vaccinations are a must! Typically, vaccinations are offered to 9 – 11 year-old boys and girls in the UAE. These vaccines are safe and help protect your family.
Mums and Dads, you are responsible for your 9 – 11 year old children and their future. Do something good for them because they will, more than likely, become intimate with someone at some point in time!
The vaccinations are being offered at Zulekha Hospital at cost price – AED 392 per vaccine and the consultation and PAP smear test is free
Dr Munster pointed out that we should not ignore half of the population, especially if that half of the population is involved in the spread of HPV. Guys can pass on the virus so please, please, please, consider vaccinating your children, regardless of their sex - boy or girl.
The panel went on to discuss the susceptibility of males to cancers caused by HPV, such as penile and rectal BUT the big thing is that they should be vaccinated to help stop the spread of this disease between sexual partners. Using a condom doesn’t necessarily help stop the spread of HPV as it is skin-to-skin contact which means that membrane not covered by the condom can be affected. Of course, once sexually active a vaccination may not be helpful – the horse may have bolted, so to speak! Regardless of whether you are vaccinated or not ladies, take the advice of the healthcare experts and look after your body by having a PAP/smear test every 3 – 5 years or as advised by your doctor.
Her Excellency Sara Al Madani, Board Member, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry, is delighted to be part of the Chance to Change campaign and spoke passionately of the responsibility we have for our own bodies which includes living healthily, eating and exercise. She is a great example of someone who looks after herself; exercising each day and eating only those things which are good for her. We should all take a lesson from Her Excellency – she looks fabulous!
Dr Yaser Al Nuaimi, Expert Advisor for the Hospital Sector and Consultant Pediatrician, Sharjah Ministry of Health & Prevention was delighted to support the Chance to Change initiative and spoke about the benefits of taking care of our bodies as well as going for regular check-ups as advised.
The Panel Members were all highly articulate and passionate. There was a very open discussion regarding the causes of Cervical Cancer, PAP smears and effective measures, including vaccinations, against Cervical Cancer. Chaired by Dr Pamela Munster the panel members were:
- Dr Nahla Rashad Hamdan Abdel Rahman, Specialist Obstetrics & Gynaecology
- Dr Mona Azmy Zakriya Hassan, Specialist Obstetrics & Gynaecology
- Dr Humera Raees, Specialist Obstetrics & Gynaecology
- Dr Sunita Ghike, Specialist Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Dr Zanubia Shams, Co-Chairperson for the event, and CEO of the Zulekha Healthcare Group in the UAE said a few words of thanks to everyone at the end of the evening. Zulekha Hospital has been spearheading the Chance to Change campaign for the past four years – offering free tests and vaccines at cost. Now you have no excuse!
How to arrange an appointment at Zulekha Hospital in either Dubai or Sharjah
Call 600 52 4442
http://change.zulekhahospitals.com/ - complete the form ‘Click here for a free checkup’ - you can take the Chance to Change! They also have a great online chat service – use it! Go on to Zulekha Hospital website and you will see the online chat notice at the bottom left hand side of the screen. Click there. You don’t have to give your full name – just ask your question. Appointments can be made easily. Insurance companies are beginning to become less restrictive regarding Cervical Cancer. Check with your insurance provider but either way you can get a a free PAP/smear test at Zulekha Hospital. Try to get to know the facts about Cervical Cancer and how it can affect you and your family. Ask your doctor or healthcare advisor or one of the team members at Zulekha Hospital where experts are available 24/7.
DON’T LEAVE CERVICAL CANCER TO CHANCE. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY!
As always, when looking at websites for information please check the publication date – the information may well be out of date! It’s always better to speak to a healthcare professional.
We are not medical professionals. This article is written in good faith and after detailed research, however, as always, to be completely aware of your individual circumstances, it’s always better to speak to a healthcare professional – the Zulekha Hospital in Dubai and Sharjah will help.
The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice.
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