‘Cancer victims seeking alternative treatment a worrying trend’

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government has expressed concern over the trend of cancer patients seeking alternative treatments that have not been scientifically proven, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

“Such unproven methods actually worsen their health.

“While it is good that cancer was detected at its earliest stage, seeking proper medical treatment is vital.

“It could be a question of trust. As a result, patients who sought alternative treatments only approach medical specialists when the cancer has spread,” she said at the launch of the War on Cancer campaign here yesterday.

The campaign is an initiative by the College of Physicians of Malaysia, Academy of Medicine of Malaysia, Academy of Family Physicians of Malaysia and Academy of Sciences Malaysia.

It provides a platform for various government medical-related agencies and higher learning institutions to raise awareness on cancer among the public through research, improved cancer management and supporting cancer patients and their families.

Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women Development, Family and Community Minister, said the Health Ministry’s statistics for 2016 showed that cancer was the third highest cause of deaths at government hospitals at 13.6%, compared to 8.9% in 1996.

She said the follow-up management after early detection of cancer should be emphasised.

“This includes curative and follow-up treatment that is carried out on evidence-based protocol.

“The Government is committed to finding the best way to prevent the spread of cancer. The gap in the prevention and elimination of cancer must be closed,” she added.

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