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M’sia’s Cancer Rates Are Rising! Here Are All The Crucial Facts Every M’sian Should Know


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Did you know that Malaysia is currently battling a significant surge in cancer cases? According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), 1 in 10 men and 1 in 9 women risk receiving a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. What’s even more alarming is that over 63% of these diagnoses occur when the cancer has reached late stages, resulting in limited treatment options and daunting healthcare expenses!

The reasons behind these late-stage diagnoses are multifaceted. These include a lack of awareness on cancer symptoms, a widespread reluctance to seek timely medical help, and the persisting myths surrounding the disease. However, equipping ourselves with knowledge about cancer is crucial for early detection, preventive measures, and informed decision-making regarding treatment options. Keep reading to learn all about battling cancer in Malaysia!

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Important measures for early detection of cancer

The most common cancers in Malaysia are breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, nasopharyngeal cancer, and liver cancer — taken together, these represent over half of all cancer cases diagnosed in the countryWhile the diverse array of cancer types makes pinpointing specific symptoms challenging, general early warning signs include unexplained weight loss, persistent fatigue, chronic pain, skin changes, and alterations in bowel or bladder habits. These symptoms should prompt individuals to take immediate action and seek thorough medical evaluation!

Aside from keeping an eye out for early symptoms, prioritizing regular health screenings is vital in catching the disease early. This is because cancer often develops silently, lurking undetected until it reaches advanced stages. Check out the range of common screening methods tailored to different cancer types:

Infographic Cancer Screenings For Early Detection


The role of Icon Sunsuria in empowering Malaysia’s cancer care

Treating cancer calls for smooth collaboration among different healthcare experts, such as oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, and nurses. Unfortunately, the uneven distribution of healthcare facilities (especially in rural areas) can hinder accessibility and pose financial and physical strains on patients. 

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This is where Icon Sunsuria (a joint venture between Icon Cancer Centre and Sunsuria Healthcare) steps in to close these gaps by delivering comprehensive cancer care in Malaysia. “This vision is grounded in a patient-centric approach that leverages partnerships between healthcare providers — with the end goal of creating a healthcare ecosystem that ensures that every Malaysian has access to best-in-class cancer care,” said Audrey Ooi, CEO of Sunsuria Healthcare. 

At the heart of this vision lies Icon Sunsuria’s recent collaboration with Island Hospital. This partnership is set to enhance access to quality care by offering cutting-edge treatments, as well as comprehensive and coordinated care from a multidisciplinary team of experts. “In our mission to empower more cancer patients and their families, we hope to establish more cancer centres across Malaysia in the next 5 to 7 years,” added Ooi.

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Icon Sunsuria incorporates evidence-based medical breakthroughs to introduce innovative therapeutic approaches that surpass traditional chemotherapy and radiation. These include targeted cancer therapies that focus on specific cancer cells with precision, disrupting cancer growth while sparing healthy cells. There’s also immunotherapy that is delivered through injections, infusions, or direct methods. It leverages the body’s immune system by strengthening it or targeting cancer cells directly.  This diverse treatment includes cancer vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, checkpoint inhibitors, and CAR T-cell therapy.

In addition to these advancements, the center has made significant investments in refining chemotherapy and radiation methods, incorporating cutting-edge delivery techniques. One such innovation is the HyperArc, an advanced software seamlessly integrated with the Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator. This revolutionary technology precisely targets multiple brain tumours, effectively minimizing radiation exposure to healthy tissue. As a result, it mitigates the side effects commonly associated with traditional brain radiation, such as headaches and hair loss, offering patients a more comfortable treatment experience! 

Doctor Getting Patient Ready Ct Scan


Support networks for cancer patients in Malaysia

A cancer diagnosis is life-altering, impacting patients and their families physically, emotionally, and financially. As such, support networks and resources are crucial in helping those facing cancer navigate these challenges. Fortunately, in Malaysia, diverse sources of assistance stand ready to lend a helping hand: 

  • Social Security Organization (PERKESO): Provides financial relief for cancer patients unable to work. This assistance can serve to alleviate some of the financial burdens that cancer can bring, allowing patients to focus on recovery.
  • Malaysian Cancer Council (MAKNA): Offers financial aid, focusing on underprivileged patients and supporting cancer awareness and research.
  • National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM): Provides psychosocial services like counselling, nutrition advice, and peer groups for emotional support.

Doctor Helping Patient During Rehabilitation


As Malaysians come together to confront the increasing burden of cancer, the goal is clear: to ensure that no one has to face this battle alone. By bridging the knowledge gaps, encouraging early detection, and nurturing a community of support and awareness, the nation can make significant strides in the fight against cancer. 

As Ooi aptly puts it, “With a collective effort — including everyone from policymakers to healthcare providers to non-profit organisations — we can reduce the impact of cancer on individuals and give them solace throughout their cancer journey. By arming more people with knowledge and dispelling myths and fears, we can make a significant impact in the fight against cancer.”

For more information about Icon Sunsuria, visit their official website.


Also read: Loving M’sian Husband Shaves His Head in Solidarity with Wife Who Has Cancer

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Source: freepik
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Source: freepik
Source: freepik

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