No one ever wants to hear that they’ve been diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, I had to get the news from my doctor years ago. I was diagnosed with early-stage cervical cancer. For a while, I thought I had to come to terms with never getting cured again. But after thinking, I decided to fight it while it’s still early with cancer treatment in Singapore. Here’s how my journey started and how I put myself in the recovery process.
The cervix connects the vagina to the uterus, and early signs of cervical cancer might not show any symptoms. Symptoms will show when it’s developed enough, though. I went to see an oncology doctor when I went through these symptoms:
- The first sign I got was unusual vaginal bleeding. I started to bleed outside of my period cycle, which was the first indication that something was wrong. However, note that vaginal bleeding in between menstrual cycles doesn’t necessarily mean you have cervical cancer. Other conditions like STIs can also cause this type of bleeding.
- Cervical cancer can cause bloody, brown, or watery vaginal discharge. While this also doesn’t necessarily equate to cervical cancer, the combination of the two symptoms was enough for me to consult a doctor. They then recommended an oncology doctor who confirmed my diagnosis. You can catch vaginal conditions early by getting a pap smear regularly.
Who’s at risk?
During one of my appointments, my oncology doctor told me I was at risk because I smoked. However, plenty of other habits or conditions make you more susceptible to cervical cancer. Here are examples of a few.
- Smokers like me are more likely to get cervical cancer than those who do not. Tobacco byproducts can sometimes end in the cervix, damaging the area. The damage leads to more susceptibility to cervical cancer and HPVs.
- Having multiple sexual partners, especially without protection, increases your risk of getting cervical cancer. That’s because unprotected intercourse with multiple partners can lead to HPVs, which could lead to being diagnosed by an oncology doctor with cervical cancer.
You have many options when taking cervical cancer treatment in Singapore, though oncology doctors might prefer one over the other, depending on the cancer stage. Here are the most common treatments for cervical cancer.
- Surgery may sound the most extreme, but it’s often the most popular choice among victims in the early stages of cancer. The surgery is a hysterectomy, wherein the surgeons remove the cervix and uterus. Depending on the disease’s spread, the oncology doctor might also decide to remove the fallopian tubes and ovaries. Thankfully, I only had to get my uterus and cervix removed.
- Your oncologist might pair the surgery with radiation therapy. They mostly use it for middle-stage cancer, but they also prescribe radiation after the surgery, which is typical for early-stage cases.
- Chemotherapy is one of the most well-known cures for any cancer. Cervical cancer treatment in Singapore often uses this, mainly for the later stages. Radiation therapy might also have small doses of chemotherapy.
Do you need cervical or breast cancer treatment in Singapore? Consult Dr Johann Tang, an expert oncologist specialising in radiation therapy, by visiting his website.