Health Minister Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam says health screenings especially pap-smear tests were crucial to prevent cancer in the early stages for women.

KUALA LUMPUR: Alternative methods for cancer treatment needs to researched and scientifically proven, said Health Minister Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam.

He said patients who were seeking alternative methods should confirm that the treatment had been approved by the Health ministry.

“Traditional medicine must present proof scientifically that it is working if any of the cancer patients decide to seek alternative forms of treatment,” he said at the National Gynae-Oncology Conference 2017

“Countries like China and India have made increased scientific research in their alternative medicine. In Malaysia more research needs to be done,” he said at the conference of gynaecological oncologists on assisting women in the country suffering from gynaecological cancers.

Subramaniam said health screenings especially pap-smear tests were crucial to prevent cancer in the early stages for women.

However, many women due to cultural reasons had not registered themselves for the test.

“Only 40 per cent of local women have early cancer screening to detect the disease while 60 per cent failed to turn up, which is worrying,” he said.

“Do not be ashamed to check on your health. There are several government clinics available for pap-smear tests including mobile clinics.

“Privacy is also taken into consideration as all clinics, hospitals and mobile clinics are equipped with the necessary tools to make sure patients feel comfortable during the procedure."

Subramaniam said that the ministry had taken several steps to prevent cancer in the early stage such as the free Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination in secondary schools for female students.

He noted that cervical, ovarian and uterine cancers were the top 10 cancers affecting local women, according to the Malaysian National Cancer Registry for the years 2007 to 2011.

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