One in 10 Malaysian men and one in nine women are at risk of getting cancer, according to the most recent Malaysia National Cancer Registry report.
As part of its efforts to encourage early screening, the Ministry of Health is allocating RM20 million to protect women’s health next year.
The recent Budget will benefit 70,000 women to get free mammogram screenings, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programmes as well as pap-smear tests.
Minister of Health Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said at present, one of the most challenging aspects of managing cancer patients at public hospitals was the timeliness and accessibility of post-operative chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.
“The new government is very serious in ensuring the health of the people is top on the list, hence we will take every effort to make sure the cost of healthcare is affordable and effective.
“I’m extremely concerned about the rising number of cancer cases both globally and in Malaysia. Adopting a healthier lifestyle to decrease illnesses is of utmost importance. Not taking charge of our health can cost us our lives. Time is of the essence, when treating cancer.
“About 100,000 Malaysians suffer from cancer each year,” he said at the relaunching of the Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur (PHKL) Cancer Centre today.
PHKL is currently the private hospital with the most number of oncologists, supported by medical and surgical consultants.
Also present at the event was Lembah Pantai member of parliament Fahmi Fadzil and PHKL head of oncology services Dr Mastura Yusof.
He said apart from these preventive measures, there was also a need to be financially equipped as costs of treatment can be a major burden on not just the individual, but their family as well.
“As part of our efforts to address these issues, the ministry will pilot the ‘Peduli Kesihatan’ programme for the bottom 40 per cent (B40) group as announced during the tabling of Budget 2019.”
In Malaysia, cancer contributed to 13.6 per cent of all deaths in government hospitals in 2015, compared with 8.9 per cent in 1996.
The National Cancer Registry 2007 documented 57.6 per cent of cancer cases were diagnosed at stage three and four.