What is Cancer?
Cancer is a large group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth in the body. These abnormal growths can spread or invade other parts of the body. There are four stages of cancer: Stage I, Stage II, Stage III and Stage IV:
Stage I: The cancer is still small, and has not spread to other parts of the body.
Stage II: The cancer has grown, but still has not spread to other parts of the body.
Stage III: The cancer has grown significantly, and may have spread to the surrounding tissues and/or the lymph nodes.
Stage IV: The cancer has spread to different parts of the body, at least to one other organ of the body.
Common Causes of Cancer
A majority of cancers stem from environmental factors. This includes lifestyle, behaviour, and external factors like pollution. The most common environmental cause is tobacco, closely followed by diet and obesity, infections, radiation, sedentary lifestyle and pollution. While inherited genetics play a small role, it is still a cause for concern.
Common Signs of Cancer
Cancer begins without any symptoms. Most initial discoveries are unusual lumps on the body that doesn’t hurt or sting. There are a myriad of other symptoms as the tumour grows, and it highly depends on the tumor’s location. For instance, if the tumor is located near the bladder, local symptoms will include bleeding when urinating. Cancers can also cause a huge change to the body, known as systemic symptoms, such as unintentional weight loss. Metastasis may also occur when the cancer spreads through the lymphatic system or via the bloodstream, resulting in enlarged lymph nodes, etc.
Cancer Statistics Around The Globe
As described, cancers are mostly due to environmental factors, which is why the top cancers in each country will differ.
In the world, the top five cancers are lung, breast, colorectal, prostate, and skin cancer. In China, the top five are lung, stomach, liver, colorectal and breast. In Bangladesh, the top three are breast, esophageal and cervical. In Southeast Asia, top five cancers in men are lung, liver, stomach, colorectal, and prostate; while top five cancers in women are breast, cervix, colorectal, lung and liver.
What To Expect From Cancer Treatments?
According to the medical marvels of Malaysia, cancer patients should expect frequent visitation and a huge time commitment, depending on the result of the screening. There’s also the possibility of side effects—as it involves radiation and the usage of various drugs—such as nausea and vomiting, hair loss, pre- and post therapy depression, anxiety and more. It will differ from person to person, which is why our medical marvels are here to help you understand and prepare for them while you strive to overcome it and embrace life post-recovery.
Cancer Treatments in Malaysia
Here are some of the cancer treatments that Malaysia’s medical marvels specialise in:
i. Tumour removal (Cancer Surgery)
Tumour removal is one of the oldest treatments for cancers, yet still one of the most effective methods today. The tumour is physically removed through surgery, together with the nearby tissue. This is recommended if the cancer is still localised and hasn’t spread.
Radiotherapy slows down the growth of cancer cells or kills them by damaging their DNA. Radiotherapy often works in tandem with other cancer treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy, used to kill any cancer cells that remain post-surgery, etc.
Chemotherapy treats cancer with various powerful drugs that will kill rapidly-growing cancer cells in the body. Chemotherapy comes with a broad spectrum of side effects, depending on the drugs administered.
iv. Biological therapy
Biological therapy equips one’s immune system with the capability to attack or better recognise cancer cells. Immunotherapy and biochemotherapy are some of the common types of biological therapy, and Monoclonal antibodies and interleukin-2 (IL-2) are two of the more advanced drugs used by Malaysia’s medical marvels.
v. Hormone Therapy
Hormone therapy involves the administration of drugs that add, block, or remove hormones from the body to stop or slow down the growth of cancer cells. Our medical marvels highly recommend this therapy for breast and prostate cancer patients.
Technologies in Malaysia for Early Detection of Cancer
Malaysia is never short of groundbreaking imaging and cancer detection technologies. It’s common for health travelers to travel to Malaysia for a cancer screening. Depending on the hospital, there are 64-, 256-, 320- and 640-slice CT scanners, endoscopes, linear accelerator (LINAC) equipment, PET scanners and MRI scanners.
Advanced Cancer Treatment Technologies in Malaysia
Malaysia is proud to offer state-of-the-art solutions like Gamma Knife radiosurgery and Da Vinci Robotic Surgical System, available in select member hospitals.
Our medical marvels are ever-ready to help you overcome cancer. Find out more on cancer treatments and screenings in Malaysia now.