Sunday, October 30, 2005

Master plan for cancer care


PUTRAJAYA: The Prime Minister’s mission to make cancer treatment affordable to sufferers has been given a timely boost with the Health Ministry’s announcement of a five-year master plan to provide comprehensive care to Malaysians.

Its director-general Datuk Dr Ismail Merican said the “roadmap” would include early detection, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, rehabilitation, hospice care, herbal therapy and training.

He said the plan was to make cancer management available to all Malaysians, and patients need not have to go abroad for treatment.

“Some types of cancers can be treated in the country. We are also looking at new ways to ensure drugs are accessible.

“We want to fill the gaps in several areas. There will also be ‘full-blown’ information on the preventive aspects of specific types of cancer,” he told The Star.

The plan will look at improving diagnosis strategies for early detection, while the ministry is working on increasing the number of oncologists in the country, he added.

Dr Ismail said that one key target of the plan was to increase awareness of a healthy lifestyle to reduce risk factors.

“Besides having good habits, a healthy diet such as cutting down on salted, preserved and fatty foods will reduce cancer risks. Keeping one’s weight in check to avoid added problems of diabetes and obesity is also important.

Read article: Master plan for cancer care...The Star

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