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Breast cancer strikes even 20-year-olds
Published on: Monday, December 24, 2018

Tawau: State Law and Native Affairs Assistant Minister Jannie Lasimbang said breast cancer is the most common and leading form of cancer among women in Sabah.

According to the 2011-2013 health statistics, breast cancer cases in Sabah were among the highest in Malaysia compared to other cancer cases such as cervix, colorectal, lymphoma, lung, ovary, nasopharynx, thyroid, stomach and skin.

Jannie, who is also DAP's Kapayan Assemblywoman, said breast cancer affects women aged 20 up to 75 years.

"The most afflicted age group is 60 to 64 and the Chinese community records the highest number of cases at 25pc, followed by Kaddazan/Dusun (18pc), Bajau (10pc), Malay (5pc) and Murut (1pc)," she said.

She said this when officiating a breast cancer awareness talk organised by DAP Tawau Women Division at the Tawau Library, here, which saw 70 participants.

The talk was conducted by Tawau Kinabalu Pink Ribbon Chairlady, Christy FE Salazar. Also present was Organising Chairperson, Helen Lok Oi Leng.

According to Jannie, breast cancer occurs in any women regardless of whether they are from the urban or rural area.

"However, it is notable that there is lower access to public healthcare for those from rural areas due to their economic background and lack of knowledge of the disease.

"Nevertheless, our hope is to tackle the issue of lack of awareness on breast cancer and access to healthcare services and support through public awareness.

"There is a need to provide a strong support system and access to public healthcare services to empower and encourage women to take responsibility of their own health."

Jannie said the treatment options and training skills for healthcare personnel should be constantly improved for the people of Sabah, including having a mammogram machine in every major hospital in the State.

She also encouraged women to go for mammogram, especially if they are over 40 years, for early detection.

Meanwhile, Datin Christina Yeo, wife of Datuk Jimmy Wong, said breast cancer is the number one cancer killer for Malaysian women nowadays.

"And from the perspective of the three major ethnic groups, Chinese women have a higher proportion of cancer than Malays and Indians.

"According to the Health Ministry statistics, one out of every 16 Chinese women has cancer risk," she said.

She advised all women to raise awareness and concern on their breast health as well as to undergo regular medical check-up.

"It is important for every woman to detect or discover their health changes early in order to seek early treatment." - Christy Chok

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