Cancer in Malaysia

According to estimates, there are about 90-100,000 people in Malaysia living with cancer at any one time.

The National Cancer Registry of Malaysia (NCR) records 21,773 Malaysians being diagnosed with cancer but estimates that almost 10,000 cases are unregistered every year.

It is estimated that one in four Malaysians (1:4) will develop cancer by 75 years old.

Increasing population and longer life spans contributes to rise of cancer. Less than 10% of cancers happen in children compared to over 50% in men and 35% in women aged 50 and above.

Cancer occurs more in females than males with a ratio of male to female 1:1.2

 The cancer incidence out of 100,000 people are:

4,058 Malay males and 4,753 Malay females are diagnosed with cancer

4,078 Chinese males and 4,422 Chinese females are diagnosed with cancer

629 Indian males and 1065 Indian females are diagnosed with cancer

The top 5 Cancers Affecting both Male and Female in Malaysia are:

Breast
Colorectal (bowel)
Lung
Cervical
Nasopharyngeal

Although considered the 3rd leading cause of premature death in Malaysia, only 30-40% of all deaths from cancer are medically certified, meaning there is no exact figure of people dying from cancer.

Findings show that 10.3% of Malaysians risk dying from the disease before 75 years old. (Globocan, 2008)

Cancer is becoming a leading cause of death due to avoidable risk factors like smoking and tobacco exposure, poor diet, alcohol, inadequate exercise or being overweight.

It is estimated that nearly 40% of all cancers are preventable, including colorectal, lung and cervical cancers, with smaller effects in breast and nasopharyngeal cancer.

Improvement in early detection and treatment leads to better survival rates for people with cancer.