Lung Health Initiative to intensify battle against cancer

Tobacco control: Dzulkefly visiting a booth at the National Cancer Congress at Sunway University. — SHAARI CHEMAT/The Star

PETALING JAYA: A Lung Health Initiative is being planned to develop preventive measures and control lung cancer, says Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

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

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

“As many may well know, lung cancer is the third most common cancer in Malaysia, where 95% of the cases are diagnosed at later stages, which are 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 yesterday.

He said, according to a 2020 report by the World Health Organization, there would be 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, 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% during the period 2017-2021 compared with 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 was organised by the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM) and Sunway University. The three-day event addresses cancer prevention and control from a holistic viewpoint, aligning with the Health Ministry’s National Strategic Plan for Cancer Control Programme 2021-2025.

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