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Published: Sunday June 27, 2010 MYT 4:09:00 PM

Incidence of breast cancer in Kelantan is serious: HUSM

KOTA BARU: The incidence of breast cancer in Kelantan is regarded as serious, with the Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital (HUSM) recording about 10 new patients every month and five to six of them dying soon after.

HUSM Breast Cancer Resource Centre coordinator Dr Nik Munirah Nik Mahdi said the majority of the patients were Malays with the disease having reached the fourth stage when it was difficult to treat.

"They are more inclined to believe in bomoh or dukun (medicine men) because they are embarrassed to seek treatment at hospitals, which is most saddening," the radiologist told reporters at the centre Sunday.

Nik Munirah said more than 200 breast cancer patients were treated at HUSM every year.

She said more than 6,000 people died of breast cancer nationwide in 2005, adding that it was the leading cancer killer among women.

Nik Munirah called on Malay women to emulate the Chinese who underwent tests and turned up for examination every time a programme was held.

She said women suffering from cancer should not be too dependent on traditional medicine, adding that it would be difficult to recover from the disease without treatment with modern medicine.

She also said that last year, three men were confirmed to be suffering from breast cancer and one of them had died.

She advised people who were at high risk of suffering from cancer to undergo a mammogram test which she said was painless unlike what they believed it to be.

Nik Munirah said the resource centre, which was opened in February, had attended to more than 200 people who had wanted information on breast cancer. "The centre also doubles up as a counselling centre for those at high risk of suffering from cancer and those who have recovered but fear a recurrence," she said.

She also said that those who were embarrassed about meeting a doctor could also come to the centre and meet the supervisor, Hazizah Salleh, who would take them to do the tests.

The centre would also conduct a road tour in Kelantan to explain the dangers of cancer, she said.

Nik Munirah advised the people to reduce their intake of oily foods and fast foods and those from families with a history of cancer to undergo tests early.

The centre can be reached at 09-767 4056 for information on the disease. - Bernama

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