Losing a dear friend to cervical cancer has made me realise how important it is for us, women, to get tested. Cervical cancer is not just preventable but also if detected early, curable. R.O.S.E, which stands for Removing Obstacles to Cervival Screening, was set up with one intention in mind – making it easier for women to get a HPV test done and eliminate cervical cancer. Since its inception last year, Project R.O.S.E has screened approximately 8,000 women.
ROSE Foundation & Laboratory
With the launch of the ROSE Foundation and Laboratory, samples from the HPV Self Testing Kit can now be processed in Malaysia, when previously they were sent to a lab in Australia. This makes the processing of samples more effective. According to Professor Dr Woo Yin Ling, each swab can be kept for up to two weeks, which allows self-test kits to be used even by women who live further away from hospitals.
In her speech at the recent launch event, YB Puan Isnaraissah said, “In 2018, the World Health Organization made a global call for action towards the elimination of cervical cancer. To achieve this, we need innovative technologies and prevention strategies. Program ROSE is an important part of Malaysia’s efforts to achieve this global goal.”
Three Key Components of R.O.S.E
- Covenient self-sampling method using a swab.
- A HPV (Human Papillmavirus) test that’s more accurate and effective. Only needs to be done as few as two to three times throughout a woman’s life.
- Connected to a secure digital e-health platform, which delivers tests results directly to a woman’s mobile phone.
Because I have a family history of various cancers, I make it a point to go for a pap smear and ultrasound yearly. After so many round of check-ups, I no longer feel uneasy about it. But I totally understand how some women may find the experience very embarrassing and uncomfortable. When I heard about the HPV self-test kit under Project R.O.S.E , and how effective it is, I knew I had to try it out.
The whole process took less than 5 minutes and involved absolutely no discomfort. All I needed to do was register with the person in charge, by leaving my details and mobile number. Afterwards, go into the toilet, unscrew the swab, insert it into the vagina, turn it five times, then remove and place the swab in a tube. Done! Simple, fast and private. Once I handed over the carefully sealed tube, I was informed that I would get the results via SMS in three weeks. If my results came back negative, I wouldn’t need to get tested for another 10 years. Not even a pap smear. However, in the case of a positive result, information will be sent on the next step to take, along with contact details of hospitals to visit for further check-ups.
UPDATE : Received my results today (4 March, 2020) and happy to share that the test came back negative of HPV and that I only need another screening in 10 years time.
For more information, do visit their website.