100 breast cancer cases this year
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
BRUNEI has recorded 100 breast cancer cases this year, with the youngest patient aged just 20.
Dato Seri Laila Jasa Dr Babu Sukumaran, oncologist specialist at the National Cancer Centre said Bruneian women should understand that breast cancer can affect women from all walks of life and all ages.
The Minister of Health last year said there were 72 breast cancer cases in 2011.
Dr Babu said most Bruneian breast cancer patients were at stage three or stage four (final stages), when it becomes difficult to treat and the healing rate diminishes.
“Seventy to 80 per cent of women delay in seeking medical attention and advice, in spite of facilities available because they do not initially feel any pain.
“This is a cause for concern as Asian women affected by breast cancer are getting younger compared to their Western counterparts with Bruneian women now affected in their 40s and 50s”, he told The Brunei Times.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Breast Cancer Awareness Roadshow at Citis Square, he said early detection is a woman’s best protection against breast cancer.
He further advised women above the age of 20 to perform monthly breast self-examinations.
Dr Babu went on to say that Brunei has achieved medical sufficiency compared to 20 years ago when there were not enough doctors and facilities.
“There was no ultrasound or oncology consultation, but now we have the facilities, the only thing is for people to seek medical treatment early”, he added. Although rare, breast cancer can occur in men too with four cases in Brunei, the oncologist specialist said. Organised by the National Cancer Centre yesterday, the roadshow aimed to promote breast self-examination to detect early abnormalities.
Norkhairiah Abd Wahid, 24, and 53-year-old Pg Masherani Pg Hj Puteh, they were not fully aware of the dangers of breast cancer but have learned that it is imperative for women to perform a monthly self-examination through the roadshow.
“My advice to women is to come to this exhibition, procure knowledge and not to be oblivious about breast cancer, it can save your life”, said Norkhairiah.
Various activities were held during the roadshow; a quiz corner which encourages participants to answer questions on breast cancer, and a demonstration on the accurate way of breast self-examination.
The roadshow is part of several activities organised to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The Brunei Times