In Thailand the National Health Security Office (NHSO) has found that women aged above 35 are at an increased risk of getting cervical cancer. Hence they should annually undergo a Pap smear test for early detection of the disease. This can save many lives as it is the most common type of cancer among women.
The agency, which supervises the government's 30-baht medical care scheme, has provided Pap smear services to 1.5 million women aged 35-60 nationwide. Sanguan Nittayarumphong, the NHSO secretary-general, said that this campaign is mainly to prevent and control cervical cancer in Thailand. According to the National Health Statistics Office cervical cancer was the most widespread among women (6,300 new cases) especially those aged between 45-50, every year. Dr Sanguan said cervical cancer is easily curable if detected early.
But most of the patients come to the doctors when the cancer is at an advanced stage. Last year, about 450,000 women underwent pap smear tests in hospitals country-wide but the sad news is that this number is just 64.7% of the targeted 700,000 women. The provinces with the highest number of women seeking cervical cancer tests were Krabi and Nakhon Ratchasima. But women have to shun the fear of taking pap smears which is the only way out to prevent cervical cancer.