Gynae Oncology Malaysia: Cervical Cancer Screening in Malaysia
Cervical cancer screening in Malaysia using conventional Pap smear was initiated in 1969. It was initially introduced to all family planning acceptors. The importance of cervical cancer screening was further enhanced in 1995 when 'cancer' was chosen to be the theme of the Healthy Lifestyle Campaign. It became a national programme in 1995. The service later was expanded with the development of the "National Pap Smear Screening Programme" in 1998, to all eligible women age 20 – 65 years old yearly for the first 2 years and 3 yearly subsequently if the result are normal. Its' main objective were prevention and early detection of cervical cancer and ensuring early treatment as well as proper follow up of patients (Division of Family Health Development, 2004).
Every eligible woman is encouraged to come forward to have their Pap smear test done according to the schedule. The programme is carried out opportunistically, where women who attend the clinic for health screenings will be offered Pap smear screening. The Ministry of Health provides approximately 75% of the Pap smear screening in the country without incurring any cost to the public. On the other hand, about 25% of the Pap smear screening service is provided by other agencies such as university hospitals, private facilities and non-government organisation but the women are required to payfor the tests. The main modality used for cervical cancer screening in the Ministry of Health facilities is conventional Pap smear, however, liquid-based cytology has been gradually introduced in 2014 to replace the conventional Pap smear. Liquid-based cytology (LBC) is a screening technique which isdeemed superior tothe conventional Pap smear (Strander, Andersson-Ellström, Milsom, Rådberg, & Ryd, 2007). In Malaysia, Liquid-based cytology has been initiated for cervical cancers screening in 2014 in several states namely Kelantan, Johor, Negeri Sembilan and Selangor (Division of Family Health Development, 2004).
Caring Gynae (Gynae Oncology Malaysia) provides pap smear screening test for its clients.