Needing to treat cancer during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic compounds concern, with many patients delaying their cancer treatments for fear of potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus in hospitals or treatment centres. Aiming to raise awareness of the importance of early detection and cancer treatment during this time, Malaysia’s Beacon Hospital is offering free cancer specialist consultation under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, or the “Cancer Won’t Wait” campaign.
Cancer is a complex disease that can begin practically at any organ or tissue of the body and/or potentially spread to different organs. According to WHO, cancer is the second leading cause of death globally in 2018, accounting for an estimated 9.6 million deaths, or one in six deaths. Lung, prostate, colorectal, stomach and liver cancer are the most common types of cancer in men, while breast, colorectal, lung, cervical and thyroid cancer are the most common among women.
Now, it is known that the earlier cancer is detected, the better the chances of treatment and recovery. Cancer screening can help protect your health through early detection, even if you do not have any symptoms of the disease. Simple screening tests look forparticular changes such as a persistent lump, as well as other early signs of cancer before it has fully developed or before any symptoms emerge.
Beacon’s CSR programme has already channeled more than RM33 million (USD8 million) in financial aid to help ease the burden faced by many underprivileged patients – its team of experts would like to encourage people with new symptoms not to wait and delay getting their diagnostic tests done.
“It is crucial to know that the long intervals between cancer detections, diagnosis and treatment, could result in disease progression or treatment complications,” said Dato’ Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim Bin Dato’ Hj. Abdul Wahid, Consultant Clinical Oncologist & Medical Director of Beacon Hospital. “It is vitally important that you don’t delay cancer treatments and our experienced multidisciplinary specialists are here to support you.”