updated 29 Aug 2014, 04:49
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Fri, Aug 14, 2009
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DJ's close brush with cancer

She thought she was in the best of health - but little did DJ Rosalyn Lee know that she was only a step away from getting full-blown cervical cancer.

Thankfully, a chance meeting with a friend saved her life.

Her friend, who had undergone a women's health check-up at the KK Women's and Children's Hospital, insisted that Rosalyn go for a similar screening.

Reluctant at first, the 30-year-old went for the check up after her friend booked an appointment for her.

She said: "I was 28 years old then, healthy and normal. I did not see the urgency to consult a doctor or need this health check."

Two weeks later, she received a call from the hospital asking her to return for a second consultation.

It was at the return visit that dreadful news was broken to her - they had found ovarian cysts and abnormal cells in her cervix.

Rosalyn was terrified. Her thoughts flew to her late mother who had suffered from breast cancer for 10 years before losing the battle.

Immediately, she shared the news with her boss, who referred her to a specialist, Dr Quek Swee Chong, the head of pre-invasive screening at KK Hospital.

Upon seeing him, he told her her that being in a second stage precancerous condition, she was just one stage away from being diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is passed mainly through sexual contact. It is the sixth most common cancer in women here.

The early detection saved Rosalyn's life. Today, Rosalyn is fully cured after undergoing treatment.

She said: "Thank God for meeting my friend. If not for her, I would never have taken the health test. I took this matter so lightly despite having a family history of cancer."

She is one of the lucky ones. Every five days, a woman dies from cervical cancer, says the Health Promotion Board.

Here, one woman is diagnosed with the disease every two days.

However, there is good news. Unlike other cancers, cervical cancer is the only cancer that can be prevented.

One way of prevention is to go for regular pap smear testing. Another way is to be vaccinated against it. There are two vaccines available in Singapore, Cervarix and Gardasil.

To find out your risk for cervical cancer, go to

POCC - Power Over Cervical Cancer - is a newly formed group that was launched by MP Halimah Yacob last month.

Counting celebrities like Irene Ang and Tan Kheng Hua as its supporters, the coalition aims to help women stay ahead of the disease through the raising of awareness.

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