11 April 2009 - Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women, and often strikes them in their prime.
It is estimated that about a quarter million women die from this disease annually, and about 80% of these deaths occur in developing countries.
According to the National Cancer Registry in Malaysia, an average of 2,000 to 3,000 women are admitted to hospital annually because of cervical cancer, the majority in the late stages of the disease.
The crippling effect the disease has on the community as a whole, especially in developing communities where women form the backbone of society, cannot be overlooked. Death from cancer of the cervix often robs the family unit of a mother, a wife and a vital nurturing source.
There is therefore a pressing need to do much more to improve the outlook.
To this end, Sime Darby Healthcare recently organised the Cervical Cancer Congress 2009. Entitled Current Concepts and Controversies, it was organised in conjunction with International Women’s Day and held in Subang Jaya.
The 2009 Cervical Cancer Congress was aimed at creating a forum for intellectual discourse regarding the current scientific progress and advances in the field of cervical cancer control. The subjects that the Scientific Committee discussed included the burden of the disease in global and national aspects, challenges in detection and staging of the disease, and prevention strategies such as screening programmes and HPV vaccination.
Other highlighted topics included minimally invasive surgery and management of cervical cancer.
Specialists in oncology, gynaecology, radiology and pathology as well as surgeons, postgraduate students and various health professionals gathered to share their expertise during the two-day scientific congress.
A panel of illustrious international and local speakers, each eminent in their respective area, took the audience through new developments, the latest research findings, and present cutting-edge knowledge.
The conference also provided guidance for clinical practice and widened discussion on the medical aspects, including public education issues.
A free public seminar on Cervical Cancer was also held at the end of the scientific session.
The congress was opened by Malaysia Health Promotion Board chairman Toh Puan Dr Aishah Ong, who is also a founding trustee of CARIF and patron of Cancerlink Malaysia.
As part of its corporate social responsibility initiative, Sime Darby Healthcare plans to conduct more forums of this nature to help communities battle the scourge of cancer as part of their greater objective of improving the quality of life of a society as a whole.