KUALA LUMPUR: Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer among Malaysian women, according to an expert.
Head of Cancer and Health Screening Clinics of the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM), Dr Dalilah Kamaruddin, said that, previously, cervical cancer was named the second most common cancer in Malaysia, but this had changed over the years due to the increased awareness among women.
“I can positively say that the public awareness on cervical cancer is much better these days as people are more exposed and informed about this illness, thus making them come forward to have their health screenings done.
“However, despite the fact that more people are aware of cancer, there are still many people who refuse to get themselves checked as they are too shy to do so,” she told Bernama in an exclusive interview here Thursday.
She said this after the Miss Tourism World 2015 Contestants Visit at the headquarters of the National Cancer Society of Malaysia.
Over 50 contestants had the opportunity to help raise public awareness on cancer and the importance of early detection and screenings as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative in this pageant.
Meanwhile, Dr Dalilah said that based on the International Agency for Research on Cancer (GLOBOCAN) statistics, in every four minutes a woman would die of cervical cancer in the Asia-Pacific region, which includes Malaysia.
She said that this statistics crucially showed that cervical cancer could not be taken lightly by women, but instead should seen as an illness that needed early diagnosis and treatment.
“Women from all ages and walks of life must clearly understand that if this cancer is detected earlier, then the chance of recovery is much better,” she said.
She also added that in years to come, the number of women suffering from cervical cancer might drop as many women had become more health conscious, led a healthy lifestyle and were more open to talk about the deadly illness.
“I hope that the number of women who will come forward to meet us at NCSM to get themselves screened will increase particularly throughout this month as we are having the cervical cancer awareness campaign.
“The campaign offers special cervical cancer screening, as well as vaccination packages for women who wants to get themselves examined,” she said.
Dr Dalilah also advised women to undergo regular medical check-up so that proper health screenings can be done to detect this illness.
“I would also like to call on all the ladies out there to do their Pap Smears regularly, to have themselves vaccinated, to practice safe sex and to maintain their general health,” she added.