Health Ministry is working on a Lung Health Initiative, says Dr Dzulkefly


Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad opening speech ceremony of the Cancer Care Community Impact Award and Affirmative Action for Cancer Sustainability' Award 2024 in conjunction with National Cancer Congress at Sunway University —SHAARI CHEMAT / THESTAR

PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry is developing a Lung Health Initiative to prevent and control lung cancer in the country, says Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

The Health Minister said the initiative will also strengthen the control of tobacco product use, including electronic cigarettes – being a major risk factor for lung cancer – especially among children and teenagers.

“Through our national cancer strategic plan, Malaysia is currently working towards developing the Lung Health Initiative, which is a collaboration between the public, private and third sectors in preventing and controlling lung cancer.

“Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in Malaysia, where 95% of the cases were diagnosed at a later stage, which is Stage 3 and Stage 4,” he said in his opening speech at the launch of the National Cancer Congress Malaysia (NCCM) 2024 at Sunway University here on Friday (June 21).

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad visit booth during the  in conjunction with National Cancer Congress at Sunway University —SHAARI CHEMAT / THESTARHealth Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad visit booth during the in conjunction with National Cancer Congress at Sunway University —SHAARI CHEMAT / THESTAR

The minister, however, did not reveal more details about the initiative, and it was understood that it is still in development.

Dzulkefly added that NCCM 2024, organised by the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM) and Sunway Malaysia, is aligned with the Health Ministry’s National Strategic Plan for Cancer Control Programme 2021-2025 by addressing cancer prevention and control from a holistic viewpoint.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) report in 2020, he said it was estimated that there was an increased number of cancer-related cases globally.

“Based on the report, there were 19.3 million new cases of cancer in terms of incidence; 10.2 9.9 million cancer deaths in terms of mortality; and 50 million people living with cancer within five years of diagnosis (in terms of prevalence).

“Malaysia is no exception, as the number of reported cancer cases increased by 46.5% for the period 2017-2021 compared to 2012-2016.

“By fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange among experts and stakeholders, this congress will undoubtedly contribute to the successful implementation of our national cancer control strategies,” he added.

The NCCM 2024 is the first-ever congress in the country. It will last three days and invite health experts from other countries to address every aspect of cancer, from prevention to survival.

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