BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
More than 600 cases of newly diagnosed cancer are recorded every year in Brunei, said the head of Early Detection and Cancer Prevention Unit at The Brunei Cancer Centre (TBCC) .
Datin Dr Nuraslinah Haji Ramlee, in a press conference held at Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre (PJSC) recently, said that cancer has remained the number 1 killer in the country beating heart disease.
“Cancers like breast cancer, colorectal and cervical if prevented or detected early, can save lives and lead to better treatment outcome. These cancers are also one of the top 5 cancers in Brunei, ” she said.
She also said that cancer mortality can be reduced if cases are detected and treated early.
Early diagnosis, she added, means seeking help at the awareness of early signs and symptoms of cancer in order to get them diagnosed and treated at early stage.
“In the absence of any early detection or screening and treatment intervention, patients are diagnosed at very late stages when curative treatment is no longer an option, ”Datin Dr Nuraslinah said.
“It is thus important that the idea of cancer being a taboo subject to talk about, discuss or even mention, should change.”
TBCC’s Early Detection and Cancer Prevention Unit aims to coordinate care, educate the people to recognize the symptoms and signs of cancer, and to come forward if they feel something is not right with their health and body including that of their family members.
TBCC which is one of the centres of excellence at PJSC held the meeting to commemorate the annual celebration of World Cancer Day with the theme “I Am and I Will” that will be used until 2021.
Medical Director of PJSC and Director of TBCC, Dato Seri Laila Jasa Dr Babu Sukumaran, on his part, said that TBCC is working very closely with the Ministry of Health, NGOs and other stakeholders to fight against cancer.
“This shows Brunei’s commitment to cancer patients and the community; and to stop the increasing number of unavoidable deaths from cancer as health institutions and other stakeholders take action to address cancer risk factors as part of the pledge of the Union of International Cancer Control (UICC) to which TBCC is a proud member of,” he said.
He also highlighted that “I Am and I Will” is about being empowered and taking personal commitment to actively fight cancer that you are the hero of this story.
“Whoever you are, it is you who have to make the commitment. You have the power to reduce the impact of cancer on yourself, the people you love and the world in general. You are empowered to fight this, and not leave it to others and the health authorities, and the government to fight it. It is your fight too, ” Dato SLJ Dr Babu said.
The medical director added that individuals can find out how cancer can affect us and how to reduce its incidence by learning more of cancer, signs and symptoms.
“…carefully realize the myths and wrong information disseminated in the media and various sites and by making a commitment to choose and follow healthier lifestyles including the practice of healthier diet and exercise, reduce alcohol intake and take up vaccinations against certain infections,” Dato SLJ Dr Babu said.
During the event, the son of one of TBCC’s cancer patients Ak Mohd Fadhullah Iskandar Pg Md Su’ud presented a cancer awareness video on the testimonials of six cancer survivors who were willing to share their experiences and hardship.
His inspiration came from his personal experience as he stood by his father in his journey to battle and survive stomach cancer.
Also in attendance to join the panel of discussion at the press conference was Dr Bibina Tuty Umaira Haji Abd Hamid, the medical officer from the Health Promotion Centre (HPC), Ministry of Health as she shared cancer prevention and early detection advices.
Further enquiries can be directed to The Brunei Cancer Centre, Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at 261 1333.