Concern over breast cancer self-diagnosis highlighted at forum

National 1 minute, 34 seconds


MANY women with early breast cancer symptoms would rather rely on Internet sources before seeking medical help, said a doctor from the Brunei Cancer Centre yesterday.

Dato Seri Laila Jasa Dr Babu Sukumaran, a special oncologist, expressed concerns over cancer patients who are not willing to get professional help.

During a presentation at the Breast Cancer Symposium 2014, he said patients instead do self-diagnosis by relying on Internet sources that may not be reliable.

“The public tend to rely on the website for their references and they could be misled with the information given.

“They may be unaware that what they have is cancer, and sometimes they came too late and the disease has already progressed,” Dato Dr Babu said.

He urged the public to approach experts if they notice any lump or pain.

Early diagnosis may not show significant results, but patients can be constantly informed about their condition, he added.

The special oncologist talked about the importance of public awareness on breast cancer while presenting an overview of the disease.

He said breast cancer was the number one cancer among women in Brunei, before adding that the number of cases continue to rise.

“The other common cancers among women are uterus, cervix, ovary and lung cancers. For breast cancer, RIPAS (Hospital) had diagnosed 70-80 new cases per year,” he added.

Dato Dr Babu said women in the age range of 40-49 represented the highest percentage of breast cancer patients.

In 2008, statistics showed that there were three male cases of breast cancer.

He said the risk factors of breast cancer are mostly related with age, family history in first degree relatives as well as late menopause.

However, Dato Dr Babu said 70 per cent of women have no risk factors in Brunei.

He went on to say that awareness and knowledge about breast cancer among women of all ages are critical.

The Brunei Times