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Prevalence of cervical cancer in Singaporean women

Discuss about the Cervical Cancer in Bukit Panjang.

Cervical cancer is considered to be the 9th most common cancer that is found among Singaporean women. In order to cure cervical cancer it is important to detect the disease at an early stage. According to the doctors’ one of the most effective ways to prevent cervical cancer is to go for regular Pap smear in every three years. The current essay attempts to shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of the Malay community in Bukit Panjang in order to identify their vulnerability towards cervical cancer.

In Bukit Panjang Malay, community is one of the many communities that live in Singapore. Women of Malay community are not aware of Cervical Cancer. according to Sheikh et al. (2015) attitudes towards cervical cancer and the screening services are some of the factors that are profoundly affected by the cultural norms and beliefs of a community. Among the age group of 21 to 56 the women of the community have been identified to be severely affected and prone to the cervical cancer. According to a primary research by Yong et al (2008) among 60 participants of the Malay community, residing at Bukit Pangjang more than 35 women never had a Pap Smear which is one of the primary factors for early detection of cervical cancer (Nwabichie et al. 2018). The Malay community and especially the women due to their cultural norms and values are often reluctant to discuss the cervical cancer and even participate in the surveys regarding the detection of cervical cancer.

In Bukit Panjang the youthful Malay population reflects a high YDR but a comparatively lower ODR. The general literacy rate of the district is high however; it has not influenced the overall mindset of the women.

Total population of the district is 139,030 as per the study reports of 2015. Among the population 22,230 are of Malay ethnic background. In Malay community, the number of women has increased in recent years (Nwabichie, Manaf & Ismail, 2018). Total 63% of the population are women, among which the literacy rate is 43% approximately. Among the total population 31% are young women who are more vulnerable to cervical cancer (Muhamad et al. 2015).

In Singapore the population of 2.41 million women, aged 15 years to 56 years have been considered to be at risk of cervical cancer. In the country considering the Malay community, every year more than 100 Malay women are diagnosed with cervical cancer among whom more than 50 people die (Muhamad et al. 2015). It is important to assess the risk of the community of being affected of the disease. In this regards, it is important to note that over 3% of Malay women in the general population are prone to HPV.

Vulnerability of Bukit Panjang Malay Community to Cervical Cancer

As per the vulnerability of the community is concerned more than 30% women of the community are younger, as the younger women are prone to cervical cancer. It is an important fact that more than half of the cervical cancer victims are diagnosed in women under the age of 45.


Approximately 12 types of HPV are considered to be at high risk in the cervix cancer. For most of the people the immune system, that clears the HPV infection within 2 years. However, in Malay women, the community have a long lasting or persistent infection that indicates high risk type of HPV (Maharajan, Rajiah, Fang & Lui, 2017).

Another important factor that requires mentioning is the lifestyle of the community. As the literacy rate of the community is increasing, the number of working women are increasing. Urbanization and workplace related stress has been considered to be one of the chief weaknesses. The tendency of safer sex is one of the strengths of the community. Vaccines also help in preventing HPV (Malhotra, Bilger, Liu & Finkelstein, 2016). In Singapore girls, aged 12-14 are not provided with the vaccines that help in protecting them against cervical cancer.

Smoking tobacco is another factor that increases the risk of getting affected with cervical cancer. The risk increases with the increased rate of tobacco consumption. This particular community does not indulge into smoking tobacco (Keough, Bleakley, White & Zahra, 2016). This can be considered as one of the community strengths. Apart from tobacco consumption, use of contraceptive pills also increases the chance of cervical cancer. However, this particular community has higher rate of consumption of contraceptive pills especially in working women. The community has lower level of hereditary tendency of cervical cancer.

The major weaknesses that have been identified to be the causes against their vulnerability towards cervical cancer. One of the most significant community weaknesses that have been identified is the unavailability of vaccination among the pupils that helps in protecting the female Malay community from Cervical cancer (Choo et al. 2016). Apart from that, it is important that the community indulge more into protected sex rather than consuming contraceptive pills. The women of Malay community are not informed enough regarding the cervical cancer and the required preventive steps. It is important for them to be aware of the difficulties and the necessary of Pap Smear testing on a regular basis for the detection of the disease at an early stage.

Factors affecting vulnerability of Bukit Panjang Malay women to cervical cancer

Cervical cancer emerges due to the abnormal growth of the cells that are capable of invading to other parts of the body. One of the risk factors of the disease is that no early symptom is seen in the initial stage of the disease (Choo et al, 2016). The disease can be chronic if it is diagnosed at the later stage and most of the women affected of the lethal disease are mostly due to unhealthy lifestyle and lack of knowledge regarding the disease.

Conclusion

In the light of the above study, it needs to be stated that in Malay community for decreasing the growth of cervical cancer it is important for the community to undertake necessary steps for early detection of the disease. Apart from in order to effectively inform the female population of the district of the necessity of Pap Smear in order to prevent Cervical cancer at an early stage, community programmes and support platforms can be arranged.

References

Choo, B. A., Koh, V., Tang, J., Low, J., Stephenson, M. C., Cheong, D. H., ... & Roy, S. (2016). 324P Radiation response assessment by hybrid positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging for cervical cancer treatment. Annals of Oncology, 27(suppl_9).

Available at: https://academic.oup.com/annonc/article/27/suppl_9/mdw585.028/2919742

Choo, B. A., Lee, Z. W., Zhao, W., Wang, X., Ng, J., Low, J., & Deng, L. W. (2016). 326P Biomarker discovery for early prediction of therapy resistance in cervical cancers. Annals of Oncology, 27(suppl_9).

Available at: https://academic.oup.com/annonc/article/27/suppl_9/mdw585.030/2919745

Keough, W., Bleakley, L., White, L., & Zahra, M. (2016). EP-1968: Vaginal mucosal doses in the treatment of cervical cancer using HDR brachytherapy. Radiotherapy and Oncology, 119, S932-S933.

Available at: https://www.thegreenjournal.com/article/S0167-8140(16)33219-4/abstract

Malhotra, C., Bilger, M., Liu, J., & Finkelstein, E. (2016). Barriers to Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening in Singapore: a Mixed Methods Analysis. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 17(8), 3887-3895.

Available at: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/6006/f210c637032f4830e67ccf985d971aa4a47e.pdf

Maharajan, M. K., Rajiah, K., Fang, K. N. S., & Lui, L. Y. (2017). Cervical cancer prevention in Malaysia: Knowledge and attitude of undergraduate pharmacy students towards Human Papillomavirus infection, screening and vaccination in Malaysia. Journal of Cancer Education, 32(1), 166-174.

Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13187-015-0957-2

Muhamad, N. A., Kamaluddin, M. A., Adon, M. Y., Noh, M. A., Bakhtiar, M. F., Ibrahim Tamim, N. S., ... & Aris, T. (2015). Survival rates of cervical cancer patients in Malaysia. Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention: APJCP, 16(7), 3067-72.

Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Faizal_Bakhtiar/publication/274726291_Survival_Rates_of_Cervical_Cancer_Patients_in_Malaysia/links/59da09e30f7e9b12b36d7b80/Survival-Rates-of-Cervical-Cancer-Patients-in-Malaysia.pdf

Nwabichie, C. C., Manaf, R. A., & Ismail, S. B. (2018). Factors Affecting Uptake of Cervical Cancer Screening Among African Women in Klang Valley, Malaysia. Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention: APJCP, 19(3), 825.

Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rosliza_Manaf/publication/324006342_Factors_Affecting_Uptake_of_Cervical_Cancer_Screening_Among_African_Women_in_Klang_Valley_Malaysia/links/5ab88a3caca2722b97cf9e81/Factors-Affecting-Uptake-of-Cervical-Cancer-Screening-Among-African-Women-in-Klang-Valley-Malaysia.pdf

Sheikh, S. A., Simbak, N. B., Ismail, S. B., Rahman, N. I. A., Rebuan, H. M. A., Dali, W. P. E. W., & Haque, M. (2015). A Pilot Survey of Awareness and Knowledge of Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Cervical Cancer and HPV Vaccine among Men and Women Attending for HPV Vaccination in Terengganu, Malaysia. Int J Pharm Sci Rev Res, 31(2), 242-246.

Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mainul_Haque2/publication/275410646_A_Pilot_Survey_of_Awareness_and_Knowledge_of_Human_Papillomavirus_HPV_Cervical_Cancer_and_HPV_Vaccine_among_Men_and_Women_Attending_for_HPV_Vaccination_in_Terengganu_Malaysia/links/553c72a60cf2c415bb0b2d5a/A-Pilot-Survey-of-Awareness-and-Knowledge-of-Human-Papillomavirus-HPV-Cervical-Cancer-and-HPV-Vaccine-among-Men-and-Women-Attending-for-HPV-Vaccination-in-Terengganu-Malaysia.pdf

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[Accessed 25 February 2024].

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