ISTANBUL – Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor today shared three salient practices in cancer control in Malaysia with the wives of heads of state in conjunction with the 13th Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit.
Rosmah, who is also patron of the Permata programme said, in Malaysia cancer was the fourth principle cause of death with about 20,000 new cases diagnosed each year, 55 percent of whom were women.
“First is prevention, the common adage “prevention is better than cure” cannot be more apt for the children hospital because efforts to promote healthy living must start from the early years,” she said at the special session on ‘First Ladies’ Leadership on Cancer Control in the OIC member states in conjunction with the 13th OIC Summit, here in Istanbul.
She said its wellness centre would augment the government’s public health education on proper diet, exercise, maintaining appropriate weight, avoidance of tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse.
It will promote vaccination against Hepatitis B and human papilloma virus or HPV to prevent liver and cervical cancer respectively.
She said under the school health programme more than 1.3 million girls, aged 13 years, had been vaccinated against HPV, with the acceptance rate of 98.2 per cent in 2015.
“Second is the application of stem cells and genomics medicine to personalise medical treatment. It is now possible to provide precise care
according to the individual’s characteristics, needs and preferences,” she said.
Rosmah said cancer cells could also be characterised and precisely targeted with specific inhibitors without harming normal cells.
She said this personalised and precision medicine would ensure that the right patient received the right treatment at the right time, with the right response and the right cost.
“Currently cancer treatment is either free or only a fraction of the actual cost at government hospitals,” she said.
She said third was the integrated healing approach in which the conventional medical treatment was complemented with therapies to improve the quality of daily living by relieving the negative physical and emotional effects of cancer.
Child life specialists, trained volunteers, support groups, therapeutic
clowns and pets together with families, she said, provided opportunities for children to play, socialise, share their feelings and cope through fun and creative activities in an environment of respect, compassion and collaboration.
“As we are aware, cancer is one of the top causes of death in OIC member states. It is my sincere hope that OIC member states will step up collaboration in appropriate health personnel training, research and sharing of the outcomes, as well as in contributing expertise and technology to scale up innovative models in cancer control and care,” she added. – BERNAMA