In an earlier article, we talked about 3 reasons why people in Singapore may not be going for cancer screening. This is despite the fact that earlier detection and treatment of cancer allows for higher chances of successful treatment. For instance, in a writeup on gastric cancer, the Singapore Medical Association point out that the disease when treated at Stage I has a five-year survival rate of up to 90%. This drops to about 5% for Stage IV. Unfortunately, 58.2% of gastric cancers cases in Singapore were diagnosed at Stages III to IV (2017). In this article, we would like to offer a possible 4th reason. Do you agree with that this reason is common?
Recap on Three Reasons Why People Might be Avoiding Cancer Screening
Reason 1: I Am Not At Risk Since I Lead A healthy Lifestyle
In our previous article we labelled this a myth. Regular exercise and healthy eating may lower the risks, but they do not prevent the possibility of cancer.
Reason 2: I Don’t Have a Family History of Cancer So I’m Not At Risk
Genes and family history are contributing risk factors, but people with no family history of cancer can still get the disease.
Reason 3: I’ve Already Screened Once. There Is No Need To Keep Doing It.
Some people who have already done some cancer screening in Singapore might think that there are no need for further screenings, if earlier tests were negative. This is not true, as cancer might occur or only become detectable at a later time following the initial screenings.
A Possible Reason Number 4 – Fear of Positive Detection?
I would like to offer a fourth reason why some people put off doing screenings for cancer even if they are aware of the benefits of early detection and treatment.
The is drawn from personal experience – thinking back about why I had myself been late to get screened. I attribute it to fear of having to deal with the consequences of a positive detection. Out of sight, out of mind – if I do not get screened, there is no cancer detection and hence no consequences to deal with, correct? This is of course entirely irrational and illogical, but the impact on actions is real. The key to dealing with this impediment is to acknowledge the irrationality and illogic, put aside the fear, and take positive action to get screened.
Screen for Life – Affordable Cancer Screening in Singapore
Do you agree that not wanting to think about cancer is a reason some people avoid undergoing screening?
If you have decided to go for screening but worry about the cost, congratulations on a wise decision. The good news is that basic cancer screening is not expensive in Singapore for citizens. Indeed, the government’s Screen for Life programme provides affordable cancer screening for Singaporeans. Check here for more details and to check your eligibility.
This article is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.