How much do you know about cervical cancer?, Latest Health News - The New Paper

How much do you know about cervical cancer?

Answer these seven simple questions with a 'YES' or 'NO' to find out...

(Answers below)

Question 1

Can I still have cervical cancer without a family history of the cancer?

FACT: Rather than genetic factors, cervical cancer is actually caused by the common human papillomavirus (HPV) that most people will get in their lifetime. There are over 100 strains of the virus, spread by skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity. Although mostly harmless, at least 14 high-risk strains can lead to cervical cancer because they can cause persistent, recurrent infections.

Question 2

Is my risk level low if I am sexually inactive?

FACT: The truth is that all women who have ever had sex are at risk of cervical cancer because HPV is spread by skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity. Having a condition that weakens your immune system such as lupus also increases your risk.

Question 3

Are there early symptoms of the condition?


FACT: There are usually no signs and symptoms in the early stages of cervical cancer. This is why it is important to go for regular screening to detect the condition.

Question 4

Do both the Pap test and HPV test screen for cervical cancer?

FACT: There is more than one way to screen for cervical cancer. The HPV test is recommended for women who are 30 and above as it detects the presence of high-risk strains. The Pap test is recommended for women who are 25 to 29 years old.

Question 5

Do I still need to go for screening even after getting the HPV vaccination?


FACT: An HPV vaccination can protect you from 70 to 90 percent of cancer-causing HPV strains, depending on the type of vaccine. This vaccination is recommended for females between nine to 26 years old. You should still go for regular screenings as the vaccine does not cover all the high-risk strains, and cervical cancer is more than 90 per cent treatable when detected early through screening.

Question 6

Is it expensive to go for screening?


FACT: The Pap and HPV tests are affordable, and only costs $5 or less for eligible Singaporeans at CHAS GP clinics. Alternatively, the Pap test (25 to 29 years old) costs $15 for Singaporeans at polyclinics and $22.50 for Permanent Residents at polyclinics. The HPV test (30 years old and above) costs $22.50 for Singaporeans at polyclinics and $33.75 for Permanent Residents at polyclinics.

Question 7

Should I go for screening every year?

FACT: It’s not necessary to screen every year. A Pap test should be done once every three years, while an HPV test is needed only once every five years. As such, there is actually no difference in cost between the Pap and HPV test rates over the course of ten years.



1. Yes
2. No
3. No
4. Yes
5. Yes
6. No
7. No


There is still more that you can learn about cervical cancer. Equip yourself with more knowledge on the ways that you can protect yourself and your loved ones against it.

You know a little about cervical cancer, but there are some things that you aren’t quite sure of. Let this quiz be the gateway to knowing exactly how to fight cervical cancer.

Congratulations! You know exactly why and how frequently one should go for screening. Spread this knowledge and encourage those around you to screen as well.

For more information on cervical cancer screening, visit or call 1800-223-1313.

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