KUALA Lumpur, Oct 28 — Malaysian women are more familiar with breast cancer symptoms compared to women in Singapore and Thailand, according to a survey.
However, only 21 per cent of Malaysian women undergo a mammogram screening at least once in their lifetime.
Milieu Insight, a market research firm based in Singapore, revealed that 69 per cent of women in Malaysia are aware of breast cancer symptoms, compared to 57 per cent of women in Singapore and 15 per cent of women in Thailand.
This survey also found that a total of 81 per cent of participants from the Philippines, 76 per cent from Indonesia, and 69 per cent from Vietnam are aware of breast cancer symptoms.
A total of 3,105 women from these countries participated in this survey.
Although more women are aware of breast cancer symptoms in Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia, the majority of the women participants from these countries have never performed a clinical breast examination (CBE) even once.
CBE is a physical examination of the breast to check for lumps or other breast changes that is performed by a healthcare provider.
From the total women participants in each country, 78 per cent of women in Malaysia said that they have never undergone or were unaware about mammogram screening or CBE compared to 87 per cent in Indonesia, 85 per cent in the Philippines, 72 per cent in Thailand, and 58 per cent in Singapore and Vietnam each respectively.
Although 62 per cent of women in Malaysia felt that the country has sufficient resources to learn about breast cancer, 36 per cent were unaware about where to carry out a mammogram screening in Malaysia.
Cancer diagnoses in Malaysia fell sharply after screenings and treatments were deferred during the Covid-19 pandemic. Late detection, and delayed treatments have deteriorated the recovery process of cancer patients including breast cancer.
A study in Mumbai, India said that regular CBE reduces breast cancer mortality by 15 per cent among women.