Enhancing accessibility to cutting-edge screening procedures for breast cancer early detection
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Oct. 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Malaysia Healthcare encourages global citizens to practice regular examination and screenings as a crucial step in preventing breast cancer. With healthcare facilities that are equipped with innovative screening procedures, Malaysia Healthcare is committed to making breast cancer early detection accessible for global citizens.
In conjunction with the breast cancer awareness month, Malaysia Healthcare shed light on the significance of early diagnosis as well as the cutting-edge screening procedures provided by several of its healthcare facilities.
“Individuals should be cautious about any lump in the breast or underarm (armpit), thickening or swelling on any part of the breast, skin irritation or dimpling, redness or flakiness around the nipple area or the breast, nipple inversion, pain in the nipple area, unusual nipple discharge that may include blood. Changes in breast size or shape and unexplained breast pain should also be regarded warning signs,” said Dr. Nik Munirah Nik Mahdi, Consultant Radiologist at KPJ Perdana Specialist Hospital.
“Doing regular breast self-examination is crucial to help you be aware of how your breasts normally look and feel, as well as detect symptoms such as lumps, pain, or abnormal changes in size. In addition to this, a clinical breast examination and screening every year should be done even if you do not detect any abnormalities, as breast cancer often does not present any symptoms at its earliest, which is the most treatable stage,” said Dr. Normayah Kitan, Consultant Breast and Endocrine Surgeon, Sunway Medical Centre in Sunway City.
“We strongly advocate regular self-examination and frequent breast screening especially for women aged 40 and above to detect breast cancer at an early stage. It is also advisable for women to seek medical help if any breast lumps are found. The importance of early detection cannot be overstated in the fight against breast cancer,” said Dr. Melissa Tan Ley Hui, Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon at Prince Court Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur.
Since its first cancer treatment centre opened its doors in 1981, Malaysia has achieved international recognitions for its quality of care. Recently, the country was proclaimed second in the care and delivery of cancer treatment in the Asia Pacific and the third-most prepared country overall by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
“When discussing cancer, we focus on survival and recurrence rates rather than recovery rates. Studies have found that patients with breast cancer have more than 85% 5-year survival rate when detected early compared to a 19% 5-year survival rate when detected at Stage 4. Research have also shown that patients have a 10% chance of their breast cancer recurring after undergoing a breast-conserving surgery or mastectomy1. At SJMC, we advocate for early detection and are proud of our remarkable 100% 5-year survival rate for patients with Stage 1 breast cancer. This is one of the highest in the region and is evident on the quality of care we provide. With the advancement of technology, 3D mammograms enhance the chances of detecting breast cancer at its earliest, where it is most treatable, potentially saving lives and improving outcomes for women everywhere. By providing a three-dimensional view of breast tissue, this screening enables earlier detection of abnormalities, reducing false positives and unnecessary follow-up tests,” Dr. Teh Mei Sze, Consultant Breast Surgeon (Oncoplastic), Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC).
“Not all breast lumps are cancerous, therefore don’t be alarmed. However, getting the lump checked by your doctor as soon as possible is important. Breast ultrasounds and mammograms will help doctors decide on the biopsy test for suspicious-looking lumps. This is to establish the diagnosis so that treatment can be initiated. Delaying treatment is associated with poor outcome,” said Dr Normayah Kitan.
According to Dr. Nik Munirah Nik Mahdi, Consultant Radiologist at KPJ Perdana Specialist Hospital, a mammogram can detect a breast lump one year before it becomes palpable to the patient. The main benefit of mammography screening lies in its potential to reduce breast cancer-related mortality. The degree of reduction varies, from about 15% to 25% in randomised trials to more recent estimates of 13% to 17% in meta-analyses of observational studies. A 2020 study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information highlighted that regular breast cancer screening appears to be associated with a significant decrease in the number of severe and fatal cases of breast cancer. This reduction is not solely attributed to improvements in treatment methods but is, to some extent, a result of the screening process itself.
Meanwhile, Dr. Melissa Tan Ley Hui, a Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon emphasised the significance of 3D mammogram in detecting cancer. “Our cutting-edge 3D Mammogram enables us to generate detailed images, allowing for the detection of small cancers concealed within dense breast tissue. This advanced approach significantly enhances accuracy when compared to the conventional 2D Mammograms, effectively reducing the occurrence of false-positive results.”
“At UM Specialist Centre (UMSC), our integration of advanced technologies such as 3D mammography (breast tomosynthesis) and MRI breast imaging, combined with the expertise of experienced breast radiologists, is revolutionising breast health assessment. Breast tomosynthesis has been proven to have a diagnostic sensitivity of 93% and a specificity of 70%. In symptomatic women, it has demonstrated superiority compared to conventional mammography (2D). Our commitment to faster diagnosis and intervention ensures timely care, enhancing treatment success rates. Furthermore, our hospital offers specialised screening for high-risk individuals, including those with genetic mutations like the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, along with comprehensive risk-reducing surgical options. At UMSC, we’re not just advancing healthcare; we’re saving lives through innovation and compassion,” said Dr. Suniza Binti Jamaris, Associate Professor and Consultant Breast Surgeon, UMSC.
With a vast range of oncology services that include ground-breaking imaging and cancer detection technologies on offer, Malaysia Healthcare is moving forward steadily as the Cancer Care Centre of Excellence. This is further reinforced by the country’s excellent healthcare system, which makes it easier for healthcare travellers to obtain comprehensive cancer care promptly in a safe and trusted destination.
For more information on Malaysia Healthcare and its services, please visit https://malaysiahealthcare.org/ or visit our social feeds at: www.facebook.com/MHTCMalaysia or at LinkedIn (Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council).
For media enquiries:
Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council
Public Relations & Content Communications
Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council
ABOUT THE MALAYSIA HEALTHCARE TRAVEL COUNCIL
The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) is a government agency under the Ministry of Health Malaysia that has been entrusted with the responsibility of curating the country’s healthcare travel scene, making it a key export service industry. Founded in 2009, MHTC works to streamline industry players and service providers in facilitating and growing Malaysia’s healthcare travel industry under the brand “Malaysia Healthcare” with the intended goal of making Malaysia the leading global healthcare destination. MHTC works closely with over 80 private healthcare facilities in Malaysia, who are registered members of MHTC.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/ddf1ecb1-fb14-49bb-9dac-0ff86892a299