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Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness
Health & Wellness



Cervical Health Awareness Month (January)


What Is Cervical Health Awareness Month?

Cervical Health Awareness Month, observed in January, is a pivotal time to raise awareness about cervical health. It encourages women to prioritize scheduling regular check-ups, going for routine screenings, discussing vaccination options, and committing to a healthy lifestyle. These proactive steps aim to minimize the risk factors associated with cervical issues, promoting a culture of preventive healthcare.

What Is Cervical Cancer?

According to HPV Information Center, cervical cancer is the 4th most frequent cancers among Malaysian women and the 2nd most frequent cancer among women between 15 and 44 years of age.

Cervical cancer happens when the cells lining the cervix (the opening between the uterus and the vagina), behaves abnormally. The leading cause of cervical cancer is Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which can affect anyone who are sexually active. Most cervical cancer cases result from persistent HPV infections.

Despite its slow progression (cervical cancer often takes years, even decades, to develop after an individual gets HPV) and initial lack of symptoms, cervical cancer is both preventable and frequently curable when detected early through routine screening and vaccination.

What Are the Screening Options for Cervical Cancer?

Pap Smear (Pap Test)

Pap Smear or Pap Test is a screening for cervical abnormalities that involves examining the cervix and sending samples to a lab to detect precancerous cells. This test is considered the primary screening tool for cervical cancer.

HPV Test

HPV Test checks for the Human Papillomavirus, which raises cervical cancer risk. It can be done concurrently with a Pap test.

Who Should Go for Cervical Cancer Screening?

How often and which tests you should undergo for cervical cancer screening depends on your age and medical history.

Women Below 30

Women below 30 should undergo Pap smear test every three years.

Women Over 30

Women over 30 have three testing options:
1. Undergo a Pap test and an HPV test (co-testing) every five years.
2. Undergo a Pap test every three years.
3. Undergo an HPV test every five years.

Who Should Get the HPV Vaccine?

In Malaysia, female students will receive their first shot of the HPV vaccine in school when they are in Form One (13 years old). A three-dose schedule is followed, with the second dose administered one month after the first, and the final dose given six months after the second dose. The aim is for the teenage girls to be fully protected years before they become sexually active and are exposed to HPV.

For further information about HPV vaccination for sexually active adults, please do check with your gynecologist for the latest information. Generally speaking, based on CDC's recommendations, adults older than 26 years old generally do not require HPV vaccination unless otherwise advised by a medical professional.

What Else Can You Do to Prevent Cervical Cancer?

Beyond screenings and vaccinations, certain lifestyle choices contribute to cervical health. Maintaining a balanced, healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and antioxidants can support your immune system. A healthy immune system usually does its job to eliminate HPV from the body.
 Quit smoking if you do or better still, don't smoke at all.
Practicing safe sex is a straightforward preventive measure against cervical cancer. Limit the number of sexual partners and use protection such as condoms during sexual activities.



As an ongoing commitment to our well-being, all of us should follow the recommended guidelines for screenings, stay informed about HPV, and adopt a healthy lifestyle.


Let's make cervical wellness a priority on our health journey, working towards a future where cervical health is universally safeguarded and cervical cancer is a thing of the past.



  1. HPV Information Center
  2. CDC
  3. 7 health screening tests every woman should do
  4. Cervical Cancer: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment
  5. Everything You Need to Know About HPV Vaccination in Malaysia

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