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Progress of Malaysian Women

Progress of Malaysian Women


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Published by: anon-882678 on Jul 25, 2008
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Of an estimated 50 million deaths which occur annually wo rl dw i d e,
10 per ce nt or 5 million are at t ri b u ted to ca n ce r.Breast ca n cer by itself
a c co u nts for 5 to 25 per ce nt of total deaths due to ca n cer (Abu Ba ka r,1 9 9 4 ) .

The Progress of Women Since Independence


In Malaysia,the discharge rates for the top three cancers in 1991 were
ca n cer of the tra c h e a ,b ronchus and lungs,b reast and ce rv i x .Among the
cancers which affect women,breast and cervical cancers account for about
half of total ca s e s.As surv i val rates depend on early dete ct i o n ,t h e
s c reening for breast ca n cer has been inco rpo rated into the Fa m i l y
Development and Primary Health Care Programme (Narimah et al.1997).
While breast examinations by health workers are available in government
health premises,the more thorough mammography examinations are
available in government hospitals.


At the same time,pap smears are taken regularly as part of the
postpartum services offered at maternal and child health clinics.Reports of
the MOH showed that the number of pap smears taken and read increased
from a mere 8,213 in 1982 to 354,930 in 1998 (Figure 4.3).The National
Po p u l ation and Family Deve l o p m e nt Bo a rd (NPFDB) as well as the Fe d e rat i o n
of Family Planning As s oc i ations Ma l aysia (FFPAM) through their netwo rk of
clinics also offer both breast and ce rv i cal ca n cer dete ction prog ra m m e s.


De s p i te the ava i l a b i l i ty of serv i ces the National Health and
Morbidity Survey of 1996 reported a screen rate of only 46 per cent based
on any methods of breast examination with differences in prevalence rates
by ethnicity,ru ral/urban loca l i t i e s,age gro u p s,e d u cational and household
income levels (Narimah et al.,1997).The same study also reported that only
26 per cent of the 16,232 women studied had undergone a pap smear
examination and that women who used the comprehensive reproductive

The Progress of Women Since Independence


services centres were most likely to have had a pap smear.Some women
sought alternative traditional treatment,thus delaying the treatment of
these cancers,and eventually losing their lives.

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