KUCHING (Feb 6): Women contribute to a higher number of cancer cases with a total of 14,527 cases reported in Sarawak last year, said Minister of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah.
Out of the total number of cancer cases reported by women in the state last year, Fatimah said 1,461 of them were new cases and the remaining were follow-up cases.
“If a patient has been diagnosed with cancer, the patient should seek early treatments as advised by the doctors.
“Cancer treatments are getting more advance these days and the disease can be fully treated if it is detected early,” she said, according to a Sarawak Public Communication Unit (Ukas) report yesterday.
Fatimah said this when officiating at an event organised by Society for Cancer Advocacy and Awareness (SCAN) Kuching in conjunction with World Cancer Day, at a shopping mall here on Saturday.
As for men, the minister said a total of 9,632 cases were reported last year with 1,158 of them being new cases and the remaining were follow-up cases.
Fatimah remarked that the awareness among the community in the state towards cancer was still insufficient, with many patients being diagnosed only at the late stage of the disease.
Having said that, she said there are now many cancer treatment specialists in the state, of which Sarawak General Hospital has also been appointed as a referral cancer treatment centre for the whole of Sarawak.
“Many cancer patients at Sarawak General Hospital come from poor background and they face financial constraints to pay for transportation and other costs to seek treatment,” she noted.
Fatimah, however, said government hospitals nationwide are now able to provide various services related to cancer diagnosis and treatment, compared to the fees imposed by private health facilities for similar services.
Thus, she appealed to the public to practise a healthy lifestyle and undergo cancer screening when signs and symptoms first appear.