After fight with prostate cancer ex-banker Nazir Razak initiates awareness campaign

Nazir, a prostate cancer survivor, said: “So many more men die or suffer terribly because they fail to detect prostate cancer early enough. And the keys to early detection are awareness and sound medical advice; so those are the priorities of our campaign this year.”

Nazir, a prostate cancer survivor, said: “So many more men die or suffer terribly because they fail to detect prostate cancer early enough. And the keys to early detection are awareness and sound medical advice; so those are the priorities of our campaign this year.”

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 30): The Urological Cancer Trust Fund of Universiti Malaya (UM) will launch a nationwide campaign against prostate cancer in November with an aim to lower the number of newly-diagnosed advanced prostate cancer from over 60% to 30% by 2025.

This campaign — led by Datuk Prof Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman and its new board member Datuk Seri Nazir Razak — will be a recurring event that takes place yearly in November from 2020 till 2024.    

Nazir, a prostate cancer survivor, said: “So many more men die or suffer terribly because they fail to detect prostate cancer early enough. And the keys to early detection are awareness and sound medical advice; so those are the priorities of our campaign this year.”

Prof Dr Adeeba believes that a close partnership between doctors and cancer survivors will have a powerful impact on the fight against prostate cancer. “Awareness is the first step to early detection and improving prostate cancer outcomes in Malaysia,” she said. 

According to the Malaysian National Cancer Registry, more than 60% of prostate cancer cases are diagnosed at the advanced stage (Stages 3 and 4) whilst the comparable statistics are much lower in Singapore (25-30%) and US (less than 20%). 

To achieve the target to lower the number of newly-diagnosed advanced prostate cancer from over 60% to 30% by 2025, the campaign will adopt a multi-prong approach. 

In 2020, the campaign will initiate:

  • A month-long #onlymencan campaign to create public awareness on prostate cancer. Key messages of the campaign will be disseminated via advertisements, interviews and key opinion leaders.
  • Knowledge enhancement programmes on prostate cancer for medical practitioners. Primary care doctors in both public and private sectors will attend online training courses to learn the latest updates on prostate cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment in order to provide the best possible care for patients.
  • A dedicated #onlymencan website that contains health education resources for the public, patients and healthcare professionals will be built as a one-stop virtual resource centre for prostate cancer in Malaysia.

In the US where testing is more widespread, one in nine men are diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime, UM noted in a statement. UM added that fortunately, it is also one of the most treatable forms of cancer: if detected early, it has a survival rate of more than 90% for at least 10 years.

According to the World Health Organisation, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer amongst men. 

Men above the age of 50 have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.