DOSM 2023 report: Cancer fourth leading cause of death in Malaysia


Dr Dzulkelfy speaks during a press conference at the Health Ministry on Dec 18, 2023. – Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 5): Cancer is the fourth leading cause of death in Malaysia, increasing from 10.5 per cent in 2021 to 12.6 per cent in 2022, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) 2023 report.

Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad yesterday said that based on Malaysia’s 2023 Health Facts, cancer is also a leading cause of death in private hospitals, accounting for 26.44 per cent and the fourth leading cause of death in government hospitals (9.29 per cent).

“This high mortality can also be linked with the detection of the disease at advanced stages, namely stages three and four, which account for over 60 per cent of all reported cancer cases, according to a report by the Malaysia National Cancer Registry report,” he said in a statement.

According to the registry, 168,822 new cancer cases were reported over five years from 2017 to 2021.

Dr Dzulkefly said breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, lymphoma, and liver cancer are the top five cancers with the highest incidence rates during the period.

He called on Malaysians to continue practising a healthy lifestyle through proper nutrition, physical activities, avoiding alcohol and not smoking in conjunction with the World Cancer Day celebration that carries the ‘Close the Care Gap’ theme.

He said Malaysians need to support the ministry’s efforts in preventing cancer in the country, such as getting the hepatitis B vaccine for babies under the National Immunisation programme and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for 13-year-old girls.

“Undergo cancer screening for early detection because detecting cancer at an early stage can improve survival rates, reduce morbidity among cancer patients and subsequently enhance the quality of life for cancer patients,” he said.

On the Ministry of Health (MOHE) aspirations, he said the ministry would ensure that the people receive comprehensive services that are not limited by their affordability, including healthcare for cancer patients.

“Besides that, the mission to enhance health promotion and disease prevention, including cancer, by strengthening public health functions will be continued through promotional and preventive activities, especially at MOHE primary health facilities,” he added.

The World Cancer Day celebration this year emphasizes cancer care that focuses on the overall needs of patients, including the importance of the patient’s physical and psychological well-being. – Bernama