Master of Ceremonies Judith Edmonds welcomed everyone to
The Tavern by the Sea for the Pattaya City Expat Club’s regular Sunday
meeting on June 20. After the usual announcements, she called on Dr. Theeti
Varinsirkul, M.D., from the Surgery Department of Bangkok Hospital Pattaya (BHP).
Speaker of the Day, Dr. Theeti Varinsirkul, M.D., of Bangkok Hospital
Pattaya (BHP), spoke to PCEC members about breast cancer.
Dr. Theeti’s topic was on breast cancer; a disease mostly
associated with women. He suggested that the men in the audience should also
pay attention because they most likely had wives or sweethearts that could
contract this disease. He also mentioned that although rare, men have been
known to also develop breast cancer. He said that after lung cancer, breast
cancer is the most common type of non-skin cancer.
Dr. Theeti started by explaining that breast cancer
involves cancers originating from breast tissue, most commonly from the
inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk.
He displayed a picture of the female breast’s anatomy noting it has ducts
and lobes supplied by blood vessels that network with the lymph vessels and
nodes. He then described risk and protective factors of breast cancer as
well as screening tests for its detection.
Member Richard Silverberg points out the website of the day - in this
case britishpathe.com, on which many old video clips may be viewed,
including historical footage of Siam / Thailand.
He mentioned that a significant risk factor is too much
estrogen. For women, this can be caused by early menstruation (age 12 or
under), late menopause (after age 55), never having a pregnancy, or having a
late pregnancy after age 30. Dr. Theeti said that menopause hormone
replacement therapy used to be common, but that is no longer the case as it
was found that this therapy using a combination of estrogen and progesterone
can increase the risk of breast cancer.
Nat of Bangkok Hospital Pattaya advises PCEC members of
current special offers by the hospital.
Another risk factor is radiation. He cautioned that this
risk comes from higher dose radiation, such as therapy for other cancers,
not from a typical x-ray, which is low dose.
Two other risk factors he mentioned are obesity,
especially at an older age, and alcohol intake where the risk rises with
consumption. He said other factors often cited as increasing the risk of
breast cancer have not been clinically confirmed; abortion, oral
contraceptives, environment, diet, and smoking. Although neither first hand
nor second hand smoking may be considered a risk factor for breast cancer,
Dr. Theeti pointed out that smoking was a known cause of other cancers, such
as lung cancer.
Some protective measures to lower the risk of breast
cancer can be done. These are reducing weight, reducing alcohol intake, and
getting sufficient exercise (at least 4 hours per week).
A man not easily distracted - Sermsakdi keeps up on his
communications, as he takes advantage of the free blood pressure checks
provided by Bangkok Hospital Pattaya.
Dr. Theeti concluded by describing the screening
techniques for detecting breast cancer. One is a clinical breast examination
by a professional, which will also include the lymph nodes in the armpits.
Another is the mammogram. A mammogram is recommended to
be done every one to two years for all women over 40 years of age. The
mammogram is done by X-ray with two views taken. It can detect tumors that
cannot be felt by a clinical examination. However, he said the effectiveness
of a mammogram will depend on the size of the tumor and the skill of the
He mentioned some other screening methods with some, such
as an MRI, being in the trial stage. He explained that screening is very
important because early detection provides more treatment options that will
increase the chance of survival.
After Dr. Theeti answered several questions from the
audience Judith called on Nat from the International Marketing Department at
BHP to tell everyone about their latest promotions.
Judith then updated everyone on upcoming events and
called on Richard Silverberg for his most recent website find. Richard said
that he wanted to recommend British Pathe as an interesting place to visit.
He said that this site has 16 brief video clips about Thailand and Bangkok
from the 1940’s to 1960’s including some of visits by Lord Mountbatten and
Anthony Eden. For those that want to check out the site, you can use this
The meeting concluded with Harry “Sig” Sigworth
conducting the always informative and sometimes humorous Open Forum where
questions are asked and answered about living in Thailand and Pattaya in