KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 – Cancer is said to be one of the main causes of death among Sabah women.
Of the number, 22.61 per cent was caused by breast cancer, followed by lung and respiratory cancer (18.87 per cent), and cervical cancer (10.09 per cent), said Health and People’s Well-being Assistant Minister Norazlinah Arif, as cited by Bernama.
The Sabah government has initiated many initiatives, including awareness campaigns as well as screening programmes, offered at government clinics statewide, said Norazlinah.
In September, a survey of 306 respondents — which was run last month by the Breast Cancer Welfare Association Malaysia (BCWA) and supported by Pfizer Malaysia — found that 86 per cent mistakenly believed that stage 4 breast cancer is preventable, while 62 per cent wrongly perceived that the disease cannot be treated.
It also indicated that 61 per cent of respondents mistakenly believed that advanced breast cancer is caused by late detection, while 33 per cent wrongly attributed the disease to unhealthy life choices.
“The belief that mBC (metastatic breast cancer) is both preventable and untreatable is pervasive in our country,” BCWA president Ranjit Kaur said, referring to advanced or Stage 4 breast cancer.
“It is true that mBC is incurable at the moment. But, there are many approaches to treating mBC and new treatments are being tested every day,” she said. “Patients can have many more years of life with the right kind of treatment.”