IPOH: All general hospitals nationwide are equipped with cancer-treatment facilities and patients should get diagnosed as early as possible, says deputy Health minister Dr Lee Boon Chye.
Dr said while facilities are available at general hospitals in all states, it was more important for the people to be aware of the symptoms of cancer.
"Compared to other developed countries, Malaysians are quite far behind in terms of getting early treatment and a lot only receive treatment at the later stages," he said after flagging off the Kledang Hill Trail Challenge in conjunction with World Cancer Day on Sunday (feb17).
"There are two aspects, one is to increase awareness of the disease among the people and secondly, to get early diagnosis and treatment," he said.
"Most health clinics nationwide also have facilities to detect cancer, such as mammograms and pap smears for women.
"For instance, cervical cancer can be prevented and when detected at an early stage, it can be cured 100%," he added.
Dr Lee said according to the Health Ministry, cancer is the second highest cause of death among Malaysians.
"The number of cancer-related cases is expected to increase due to the high number of non-communicable diseases and the aging population in the country.
"The three main cancers affecting men are colorectal (16.4%), lung (15.8%) and nasopharynx (8%) while for women, they are breast cancer (32%), colorectal (10.7%) and cervical (7.7%)," he added.
He also said that one in three Malaysians led a sedentary lifestyle, with 50% of the population being obese.
"We hope and encourage people to adopt a healthy lifestyle, to go jogging, hiking or other form of sports, to lessen lifestyle-related illnesses," he added.