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3,000 Sabah Cancer Cases Yearly

Article from Daily Express, 5 February 2014

KOTA KINABALU: About 3,000 people in the state are diagnosed with cancer each year which translates to about one per cent of the state's population.

Hence, there is need for an on-going awareness programme on cancer, inclusive of signs, symptoms, guidance and prevention, to reach out to the people more effectively, said consultant clinical oncologist, Dr Jaswant Singh.

"Awareness on cancer is still very low in Sabah especially in rural areas. Many from the interior are referred to government hospitals too late because the patients are already in Stage 2, 3 and 4," he said.

Dr Jaswant, an oncologist for over 20 years, said this to Daily Express, Tuesday, in conjunction with the World Cancer Day, which is commemorated on Feb 4 annually.

Based on World Health Organisation(WHO) statistics, he said, one in four persons was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 but last year, one in three persons was detected with cancer.

Hence, he said it is very important for people to have knowledge on early detection where chances of treating and curing the disease are between 90 to 95 per cent.

In fact, he said the future for cancer patients would not be bleak if such awareness programmes on fighting cancer also includes promotion of healthy lifestyles in the State.

He said there must be a continuous reminder by implementing the awareness programme regularly so that people will be diligent in doing medical check-ups and being fully aware that early detection of the disease could save their lives.

On the most prevalent cancers in Sabah, Dr Jaswant said the top most killer among women is breast and cervical cancers while for men is nose cancer and lung cancer. The age of these patients is mostly between 40 to 50 for both genders.