Our community needs to be more aware about cancer, signs & symptoms and taking steps to reduce risks of cancer through lifestyle changes. Raising concerns at an earlier stage means treatment is more likely to be successful.
Screening means checking your body for cancer before you have symptoms. Screening tests help to detect several types of cancer early hence increasing chance of a cure. We believe that more needs to be done in order to increase the early detection of cancer.
Patients and family need to know what treatment options are available, where and how to seek help or support from. They need to be guided to receive accurate treatment information too. This will ensure timely and relevant treatments and better outcome.
Cancer care and treatments cause financial burden to the patient and family beyond treatment cost. Hidden costs such as transportation & lodging for outstation patients, loss of earning due to treatment, etc can lower the quality of life for the patients. Better healthcare coverage needs to be put in place to lessen the financial impact to the patients and family.
Currently Sarawak General Hospital is the only public hospital in Sarawak with an oncology unit. The oncologists and medical staff there serve cancer patients for the whole of Sarawak. Facilities like the radiotherapy units, chemotherapy room, oncology ward and even the consultation room are overloaded. We believe that there is much room for improvement in the quality of cancer healthcare in the state.
Cancer patients not just suffer from the physical effects of cancer but also face the emotional and social effects. Counseling, psycho-social support and palliative care alleviate suffering, pain or emotional turmoil that patients face. Currently the availability of such care in both public and private settings are lacking.