KUALA LUMPUR — Feb. 4, 2019: An estimated 60 per cent of cancer cases in Malaysia are detected late, either at stage 3 or 4, due mainly to lack of awareness on the importance of screening and early detection.
Thus Malaysians need to dispel myths, false information and misunderstanding and overcome the reluctance to undergo screening or delay early treatment, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad in conjunction with World Cancer Day which is celebrated on February 4 every year.
Bernama quoted him as saying that cancer is now the second highest cause of death of Malaysians after heart diseases.
The three most common cancers among men in Malaysia are colorectal (16.4 per cent), lung (15.8 per cent), and nasopharynx (8.1 per cent) while the most common cancers among women are breast (32.1 per cent), colorectal (10.7 per cent) and cervix (7.7 per cent).
The number of cases is expected to increase due to the high prevalence of non-communicable disease risk factors and an ageing population.
For now the ministry provides screening for four types of cancers — breast, cervix, colorectal and oral cancer — at government clinics. Screening for high-risk individuals for cancers such as liver, prostate and nasopharynx are also available.