Cancer cases which are detected at the late stages (stage three and four) among Malaysians are at a worrying stage, said Health Director-General Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
He said according to the National Cancer Registry Report, the number of detected late-stage cancer cases increased from 58.7 percent in 2001 to 2011, to 63.7 percent for 2012 to 2016.
“Cancer is a chronic disease that can attack anyone regardless of age and gender.
"Identifying the symptoms and early signs is a very important step in helping cancer cases which are not diagnosed late,” he said in a statement in Kuala Lumpur today.
In conjunction with World Cancer Day, themed "I Am and I Will", which is celebrated on Feb 4 each year, Noor Hisham said cancer cases can be detected early by screening tests.
“The Health Ministry also provides screening tests for breast, colorectal, and cervical cancer at health clinics, and mouth (oral) cancer in dental clinics nationwide,” he added.
Since two decades ago, Noor Hisham (below) said, cancer was the fifth major cause of death in government hospitals and the leading cause of death in private facilities in the country.
“Based on the National Cancer Registry Report 2012–2016, the most common cancer was breast cancer (19 percent), colorectal cancer (13.5 percent) and lung cancer (9.8 percent).
“Among males, the most common cancer is colorectal (16.9 percent) while among females, it is breast cancer at 34.1 percent,” he said.
Noor Hisham urged all parties to play a role to help prevent and reduce the effects of cancer on themselves, families, and communities.
“Practice a healthy lifestyle, do screening tests, recognise early signs and symptoms of cancer. If you are diagnosed with cancer, do not postpone treatment. Take a proven treatment as suggested by physicians,” he said.