Quite awhile back, Ash and I were invited to a very special event called Protect to Tell - a campaign informing about Cervical Cancer and how to prevent it. This seemed to baffle us a little, because people have always known us as a beauty review blog, we never thought we'd ever be invited to a talk about something so sombre and serious!
At the same time, we've been recently discussing how to start inputting more information, which hit closer to home for us as women, on the blog. After all, beauty aside, we do face very real problems such as cervical cancer, terrible period pains, breast lumps, etc - and when such things happen *touch wood*, looking good becomes totally secondary. Since this seemed like an opportunity as good as any other to begin in a newer direction, we happily took it!
The event was held at Lady M at Fullerton - for those who do not know where that is, its located just down the stretch from Butter Factory, Over Easy, Palm Beach and the likes. Pretty easy to locate!
We thought that it was so clever - to have a ladies only event at a place none other than LADY (get it? lol) M. Plus, the up side was that the cafe was renowned for its amazing and delicious cakes! We've heard so many amazing things about their cakes that we were prepared to purchase some even if they weren't provided! YES! That yummy!
The location had been done up to look extremely pretty, with pink and teal balloons tied to chairs, and everything with an array of white and ladylike details. It was a very cosy environment for all of us.
Outside, a photobooth was arranged for us to gather together and take silly photos with all kinds of props! The best part was how everything was printed out on the spot and we could keep the hard copies! There were also fun and colorful props of all kinds so we could really go crazy! It was truly such a fun way to get all of us excited and talking!
The event was kickstarted when we were all asked to write our names, interests, blogs, and messages to loved ones (as an introduction) on our balloons! Here you can see Ash and I looking so absorbed in what we were doing hahaha. If you noticed, the balloons are so apt for us because they're each our favorite colors! Teal being Ash's and pink being mine! I thought this idea was so much more creative than just name tags on our shirts and it was definitely a useful way to learn someone's name besides staring at their chests! ;)
After a few ice breakers, the three doctors stepped forward to each give their presentations and points of view of this very serious cancer. The first two who kicked it off were Professor Tay Sun Kuie, Senior Consultant in SGH, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (the gentleman) and Professor Anne Goh Eng Neo (the lady), Head and Senior Consultant from KK Women's and Children's Hospital.
They talked through a powerpoint presentation about the MYTHS OF CERVICAL CANCER and WHY WE NEED TO VACCINATE OUR ADOLESCENTS!
As it turns out, there are tons of myths about Cervical Cancer, and so many of them you would think is common sense to rule out - but there are many many very traditional (and/or stubborn and narrow-minded) people around, so sometimes education is very important!
Here are some myths that should be dispelled:
- Cervical cancer is not common, it can never happen to me.
- I am not at risk of Cervical Caner as there is no such history in my family.
- Getting Cervical Cancer is linked to being sexually promiscuous.
- I am feeling well, I do not have HPV infection.
- If I have a normal Pap smear, it means I will not have Cervical Cancer.
- Pap Smear Program is effective enough, HPV Vaccination is unnecessary.
- I am already sexually active, so the vaccine will not work for me.
- My daughter is too young to be vaccinated. She won't be at risk of Cervical Cancer at 10.
- Vaccinating adolescents will encourage sexual promiscuity.
- I must wait for my daughter's menses before vaccination.
And here are the answers why, respectively, to each of them:
- The only reason why it may not seem common is because more action is being taken against this illness through means of prevention! Otherwise, it is the 2nd most common cancer affecting women in the world!
- Almost all Cervical Cancer cases occur in women with no family history of it!
- You don't have to be promiscuous to have it - just as long as you ARE having sex, yes even if its only ONE partner!
- Cancer-causing HPV is a silent killer, infected people may never find out till it's too late! That's why regular checkups and screenings are very important.
- One normal Pap smear is not enough to protect you from Cervical Cancer - do have one at least once every 3 years if you have ever had or are having sex!
- Pap Smears only detect changes in the cells of your cervix which may develop into cancer, whereas a vaccination can help prevent CERTAIN HPV infections and reduce the risk of ever developing pre-cancers or Cervical Cancer.
- As long as you are below 30, it is still advisable to take the vaccination - be it that you are sexually active or not. Yes, the best time will still be BEFORE you lose your virginity, but it works well all the same for everyone.
- The best ages to be vaccinated is between 9-11, because the immune system responds the best then.
- The goal of the vaccination is to PREVENT cancer, not promote sex! It is best to be educated about these matters before jumping to conclusions.
- A vaccination will not impact the onset of a menstrual cycle at all, anytime is fine!
Thereafter, Dr. Chai Yin Nin spoke to us about her own experiences regarding the cancer and how she has seen and observed patients who had Cervical Cancer.
As it turns out, yes there may be many stages to all kinds of cancer, but its best not to play around with them! She has personally seen patients DIE from just SECOND STAGE Cervical Cancer! It all happens quickly and very painfully, and then you're just gone. Otherwise, you live long enough to watch yourself die from the cancer.. which involves a total lack of control over your bladder (meaning your excretions cannot be controlled at all!) and a slow wasting away... It's all very very sad! :( When we heard the stories, all of us had really pitying looks on our faces.
Even if you say you don't want to do it for yourself, think about your family, or people who care about you. They don't want to see you suffer either! It's not a joke so please take care of yourself! And we cannot stress this enough but GO FOR PAP SMEARS. There are even free ones available, as seen in the photo above, so don't wait. Just book one and GO.
Here, as seen, are the very yummy cakes we had at the event! Ash and I kept bringing up how lucky we were to try them out, especially after hearing all the good things people say about them.
Ash and I were particularly taken in with the Green Tea Mille Crepe, which... we... *embarrassed* ate about 2 of... lol! Even after all the other food provided. We even took home 2 more cakes! LOL! What can we say about it? Soft, creamy, so so so smooth! It melted in our mouths and tasted so fragant with strong hints of matcha and milk! :) Okay I'm making myself hungry now so I should stop hahaha.
Sorry if my description isn't too great.. if it was I'd be a food blogger yea? Hahahah
We got to meet Ena (Enabalista) and Yvonne (Yvonneandherplayground) at the event and got to take these really fun wacky pictures! :D They are such nice sweet sincere souls and it was so good to get together and talk like close friends despite only having met once! Its so great when you get these chances to socialize, especially when we were so busy with school at that time!
Ena was even nice enough to hold up the photo frame for us to take a photo from, so she's the star of these series of photos! Thank you dearest!
Reflection on Event
This event was something totally different from what we were used to. There were so many bloggers there that we actually did not know of because they were more from the "lifestyle"department and we were from the "beauty" department.. but nonetheless everything was so cosy we felt at home almost instantly!
It was great to finally learn about Cervical Cancer from a really scientific/medical standpoint because up till now, all I've heard are older generations going, "DON'T HAVE SEX!" instead of saying, "well hey, here are the repercussions sometimes, and some things you might have to do along the way to protect yourself." I truly found myself listening and taking notes, and actually going home to tell my sister-in-law to vaccinate my niece against Cervical Cancer once she's 9. My sis-in-law actually missed the vaccination because she was past 30 when she had heard about it, and I found that such a waste! :( No one should miss something this important, especially not you, our reader. If you haven't done it yourself, do go to your nearest GP to find out how! :)
“Protect to Tell – Cervical Cancer Awareness” on 12th April 2014 Sat (the “Event”) was held as a lunch session, organised and sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline Pte Ltd. I was not paid for participating in the Event. All views expressed here are entirely my own.”
Thank you for the kind invite, Rachel,
we truly learnt a lot!