21/06/2024 08:47 PM

PETALING JAYA, June 21 (Bernama) -- Malaysians are encouraged to undergo early cancer screening (CA marker test) at least every six months or once a year to help detect cancer at an early stage.

AdipoLABs Healthcare (M) Sdn Bhd co-founder and director Isaac R. Joseph said early screening is important to enable individuals to seek proper and necessary medical treatment to prevent the disease at its earliest stage.

“By detecting at an early stage, it is easier to treat the disease, especially cancer. Often, you only discover cancer at a late stage when you feel something is not right with your body. By that time, it’s already too late,” he told Bernama when met during the National Cancer Congress Malaysia (NCCM) 2024 at Sunway University, here today.

He also expressed concern over the alarming state of cancer in Malaysia, referencing Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad’s statement which reported that cancer cases had risen by 46.5 per cent from 2017-2021 compared to the period from 2012-2016.

Isaac said all parties need to play a role in halting the increase in cancer cases in the country, and described the situation of cancer as more severe than COVID-19 in Malaysia.

“We have to go back to the basics: breathe clean air, eat good food, do good exercise and have less stress. All these contribute to (preventing and controlling) cancer. As for the factors, some studies show that stress and lifestyle are two of them, and some cases are also from genetics. Breast cancer and lung cancer rates are currently very high.

“As Dr Dzulkefly mentioned, smoking contributes to lung cancer, and there is also an increasing number of female patients diagnosed with breast cancer, cervical cancer and other types. Additionally, there is a rising rate of pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer among men,” he said.

Regarding the government’s initiative to fully enforce the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Act 2024 in response to the rising use of e-cigarettes among youth, Isaac emphasised the importance of this approach and advocated for its swift implementation.

He said this is a commendable approach to preventing the increasing incidence of lung cancer, as e-cigarettes and vaping adversely affect the lungs.

Earlier, in his opening remarks at the NCCM 2024, Dr Dzulkefly mentioned that lung cancer is the third most common cancer in Malaysia, with 95 per cent of cases being diagnosed at a later stage (stage three and four).

He also highlighted Malaysia’s efforts in developing the Lung Health Initiative as part of the National Strategic Plan for Cancer Control Programme 2021-2025, which involves the public, private and third sectors working together to prevent and control lung cancer.




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