Ministry urges women to go for free cancer screenings

KEPALA BATAS: The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry encourages women to go for free breast and cervical cancer screening at government health facilities.

Deputy Minister, Aiman Athirah Sabu, said the ministry, through the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN), strives to reduce the number of women who do not participate in these screenings.

"The good news is that throughout May, in conjunction with Mothers Day, these two tests (mammogram and HPV DNA tests), as well as BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose tests, are given free of charge to all eligible women.

"The free mammogram and HPV DNA tests will continue until the end of the year," she told reporters after officiating at the Women's Wellbeing Seminar here today.

LPPKN has been running the Mammogram Subsidy Programme since 2007, which has benefited 47,166 women in Penang as of April 2023.

The Cervical Cancer Screening Programme has been implemented since 2019, and 2,867 women in Penang have benefited from this programme as of last month.

LPPKN deputy director-general (policy) Hairil Fadzly Md Akir said understanding and awareness for early cancer detection was crucial in dealing with the increase in cases today.

He said breast cancer was the most common cancer among women in Malaysia, followed by colorectal and cervical cancer.

"Data from the National Cancer Registry Report 2012-2016 shows an increase in cancer cases detected in the advanced stage, i.e. stage three and four.

"This trend is very worrying and if no measures are taken to encourage more women, especially those at high risk, to undergo this screening test, the death rate from breast cancer will increase," she said. – BERNAMA

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