Lee: We try to keep up with latest cancer treatment


IPOH: The Health Ministry will try its best to bring in the latest cancer treatment method into the country.

Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye (pic) said it was trying to keep up with the many latest and modern treatments for cancer.

“We have new ways to treat cancer almost daily. We will do our best to bring in the latest treatment method,” he told reporters after flagging off the Kledang Hill Trail Challenge in conjunction with World Cancer Day here yesterday.

Malaysia, said Dr Lee, already had two cancer specialist centres – the National Cancer Institute in Putrajaya and Hospital Permai in Johor Baru – with a third one being planned in Sungai Petani, Kedah.

“We also have cancer treatment facilities in all general hospitals nationwide,” he said.

These, said Dr Lee, included the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital in Ipoh, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, the Sabah Women and Children Hospi­tal, the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Baru and other state hospitals.

Dr Lee said it was more important for people to be aware of the symptoms of cancer and get early diagnosis.

“Compared to developed countries, Malaysians are quite far behind in terms of getting early treatment and many only get treatment at the later stages.

“Most health clinics nationwide have facilities to detect cancer, like 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 said.

Dr Lee said according to the Health Ministry, cancer was the second highest cause of deaths among Malaysians.

“The number of cancer-related cases are expected to increase due to the high number of non-communicable diseases and the aging population.

“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 said.

He also said that one in three Malaysians led a sedentary lifestyle, with 50% of the population being obese.

“We hope and encourage the people to adopt a healthy lifestyle – to go jogging, hiking or take up other form of sports to lessen lifestyle-related illnesses,” he said.