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[Local Medical]Breast screening rate among Malaysian women is low: 3 out of 4 women do not undergo X-ray imaging

[Local Medical]Breast screening rate among Malaysian women is low: 3 out of 4 women do not undergo X-ray imaging

Written by ◆Chen Xiaoquan and compiled by ◆Liang Yingxiu

Although cancer treatment is not considered cosmetic surgery, insurance companies can deny compensation to patients on the grounds of cosmetic surgery.

Therefore, the attending doctor needs to fight for the compensation she deserves, and the patient can even appeal through the relevant units of the National Bank.

(Kuala Lumpur News) Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women in Malaysia. Therefore, early breast screening for women can improve survival rates. The most common screening methods are breast self-examination and mammogram (mammogram). But how many women actually do breast self-examination every month?

The truth is that few people do this. This is because women do not know how to do self-breast examination. In addition, these skills are not taught in schools, and parents may not understand them either. Therefore, most women do not know how to self-examine their breasts.

In addition to dealing with other challenges in life and trying to juggle family life and other responsibilities, some women also have many misunderstandings, stigmas and fears about breast cancer. In addition, there are myths about mammograms, including the belief that this screening will be painful or increase the chance of developing breast cancer. Therefore, we need to emphasize that this screening can detect breast cancer earlier, and we should not avoid having mammograms.

breast surgery consultant
Dr. Huang Chuyong
(Dr Ng Char Hong)

genetic counselor
Yuan Shufen

Low awareness of female breast care

Consultant Breast Surgeon Dr Ng Char Hong pointed out that Malaysian women still lack awareness of the need for ongoing breast care. The 2019 National Health Morbidity Survey highlighted extremely low breast screening rates. Among Malaysian women aged 40 and above, 3 in 4 have never had a mammogram, and 1 in 2 women have not done breast self-examination.

“Research shows that

A low proportion of women knew the signs and symptoms (42.6%) or risk factors (16.5%) of breast cancer.

And only 17.8% of women mentioned that they had ever received breast cancer screening.

As for behavioral factors, the majority of women (64.4%) reported joint decision-making;

13% of women said they make decisions about their health.

A whopping 21% of women said family members make health decisions for them. “

“Lack of knowledge about breast cancer is also the most common barrier for women seeking help.

This was followed by lack of motivation, such as mood disorders (22.1%) and optimism (20.8%).

About 11% of patients stated that,

Physical conditions and social resistance contribute to their lack of willingness to seek help. “

He said that for some women who indicated they did not have time for breast testing, taking care of their children was also a woman’s priority, so testing was delayed. Some women fear being diagnosed with cancer because they find screening painful or fear mastectomies and worry about side effects such as hair loss after treatment.

“Although some women find out that they are diagnosed with stage zero breast cancer after having a mammogram, they choose to delay treatment. The disease continues to be delayed for 4 to 5 years, causing it to deteriorate to an advanced stage. It turns out that the patients are afraid of losing their breasts after undergoing mastectomy. , so she chose to delay treatment. She originally believed that being diagnosed with breast cancer meant losing her breast, but in fact, there are many ways to treat breast cancer, such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, targeted therapy, etc., and surgical removal is not necessarily required.”

He said that in China, many rural women lack knowledge and understanding of breast cancer, deny the facts or have misunderstandings about cancer. They even think that they are not susceptible to breast cancer, so they are not interested in screening. Therefore, he has been constantly emphasizing the importance of early screening to reduce the stages of breast cancer, and that women should understand the most advanced and innovative treatment options so as to achieve better treatment results.

Early diagnosis of breast cancer improves survival rate

“Proactively seeking help and weighing options in a timely manner, making treatment decisions while taking care of yourself, can make a big difference and provide better outcomes.”

He said that as long as breast cancer is diagnosed early, there are a variety of cancer treatment options, and the survival rate can be greatly improved. The premise is that you are willing to take the first step of screening. You can also see the importance of education here.

He pointed out that cancer patients often use the insurance policies they bought to inquire about whether all the treatment expenses can be covered, or how much can be covered. If your premium is about RM60,000 or more per year, it may cover surgery, Chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but excluding targeted therapy and other treatments. However, cancer patients or doctors can ask the National Bank why the relevant policies do not cover targeted therapy, and they can even lodge a complaint through the relevant units of the National Bank.

“Some insurance companies refuse to compensate patients on the grounds that these treatments are cosmetic surgeries. However, cancer treatment is not cosmetic surgeries, so your treating doctor needs to fight for the compensation the patient deserves. Some cancer patients don’t care. You should continue to receive treatment whether you want compensation or not, but you should not treat it as dispensable and strive for the compensation you deserve.”

“In addition, you should also pay attention to all the items, rules and regulations in the policy before buying a policy. If the policy does not cover cancer, please choose another insurance company. Women should make sure they are protected when buying insurance, and don’t just expect the insurance broker to help you.”

Genes not functioning properly Increased risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer

Ten years ago, 30-year-old Xiaomei (pseudonym) was diagnosed with breast cancer by a doctor. Another of her aunts was also a breast cancer patient. Because Xiaomei suffered from early-stage breast cancer, she underwent genetic testing to determine whether there was a hereditary risk.

Test results confirmed that she was a carrier of a defective type 1 breast cancer susceptibility gene mutation (BRCA1).

Genetic counselor Yuan Shufen said that she recently met Xiaomei in a shopping mall. She looked good and had two little girls with her. Xiaomei came over to me with a bright smile on her face and said: “Hello! I haven’t seen you for a long time! Let me introduce you to my two little girls.”

Seeing Xiaomei so happy, Yuan Shufen also felt very happy. She watched Xiaomei take some time to regain her composure.

Understand family history and prevent early

The breast cancer susceptibility gene (BRCA) is an important gene for all of us, and if it doesn’t function properly, it increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Additionally, men are at increased risk of breast and prostate cancer. Xiaomei finally understood why her breast cancer was diagnosed at an early stage.

This information also helps Xiaomei understand the potential risks of genetic diseases that she and her family face. By understanding their family medical history, it can help them make medical decisions and take early preventive measures against the occurrence of cancer.

Teach your daughter about disease risks

Back to today, Xiaomei has organized her own family. She smiled and said to Yuan Shufen, I now know how to take care of my daughters, and will be able to guide them in the future to let them understand the risks of diseases they may face.

Genetic technologies that can be used to plan risk management and selective breast cancer treatments are rapidly evolving, she said, adding that we offer hope and warm wishes to all patients, caregivers, family members and friends.

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