Health screening promotes well-being

Routine screening is important for all women, but even more so for those at higher than average risk. It is also necessary for all individuals to consult their doctor about the risk of different kinds of cancers and varied cancer screening tests, said Head and Consultant at the Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine Unit of Jerudong Park Medical Centre (JPMC) Dr Chitra Karat.

“By getting the right health services, screenings and treatments, you are taking steps that may help your chances for living a longer, healthier life,” she added.

Cancer affects people of all walks of life no matter their age, gender or ethnicity and represents a tremendous burden on patients, families and societies.

It is one of the leading causes of death in the world.

One in five deaths in Brunei is caused by cancer as per Ministry of Health’s latest statistics. In 2017, Brunei recorded 385 deaths from cancer while 625 new diagnoses were made.

Moreover, women have a slightly higher risk of developing cancer over their lifetime than men.

The three most common cancers among women in Brunei are breast, bowel and cervical cancers.

Another condition that may contribute and increases the risk of some types of cancer is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). According to the National Institute of Health study in United States by Dr Dumesic, a noted PCOS researcher, women with PCOS have a 2.7 times higher risk of endometrial cancer. It is the most common type of gynaecologic cancer and the fourth most common cancer among women.

PCOS is a disorder of chronically abnormal ovarian function and hyperandrogenism. Women with PCOS produce higher than normal amounts of male hormones. This hormone imbalance causes them irregular menstrual periods and makes it harder for them to conceive. When no periods appear, women’s uterine lining thickens, and the cells start to change in pre-cancerous or cancerous ways. PCOS is a manageable disorder with proper diagnosis.

Dr Chitra added, “There are many ways you can decrease or eliminate PCOS symptoms and feel better. Regular exercising, intake of a balanced and healthy diet, and good lifestyle choices can ensure great overall health of an individual and decrease the awareness developing cancer, cancerous tumours, and other serious illnesses.”

In line with World Cancer Day and the International Women’s Day, JPMC will be offering two screening packages – Female Cancer Screening Package available at the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Clinic and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Screening Package at the Reproductive Medicine Unit.

Both packages will be available from tomorrow until July 31 and redeemable up to August 31.