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Cancer survivor Nazir Razak, Universiti Malaya kick off five-year campaign to fight prostate cancer

Cancer survivor Datuk Seri Nazir Razak and infectious diseases expert Prof Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman join forces to fight prostate cancer in a five-year campaign. — Picture courtesy of Dr Adeeba

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 — Veteran banker Datuk Seri Nazir Razak together with the Universiti Malaya’s Urological Cancer Trust Fund are joining forces to kick off a five-year campaign next month.

The campaign, called #onlymencan, aims to fight against prostate cancer in conjunction with Men’s Health Awareness Month in November.

It will be led by infectious diseases expert Prof Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman together with the trust fund’s board member, Nazir, who is also a prostate cancer survivor.

The campaign will be a recurring annual event which will take place starting November 1, 2020 until 2024.

According to the Malaysian National Cancer Registry, over 60 per cent of prostate cancer cases are diagnosed at the advanced stage (stage 3 and 4), which stands much higher than neighbouring Singapore (25 to 30 per cent) and the United States (less than 20 per cent).

As such #onlymencan campaign aims to lower the number of newly-diagnosed advanced prostate cancer from the current 60 per cent to 30 per cent by 2025.

In a statement, Nazir said many men die or suffer terribly because they fail to detect prostate cancer early enough.

“The keys to early detection are awareness and sound medical advice, so those are the priorities of our campaign this year.”

Dr Adeeba — who is a renowned figure in Malaysia and globally for her efforts as a medical specialist and an advocate in the fight to end AIDS — said 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 added.

To achieve its target, the campaign is embracing a multi-pronged approach.

The 2020 edition will initiate a month-long awareness campaign to educate the public on prostate cancer.

The key messages of the campaign will be disseminated via advertisements, interviews and key opinion leaders.

There will also be knowledge enhancement programmes on prostate cancer for medical practitioners.

Under the programmes, 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 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 set up as a one-stop virtual resource centre for prostate cancer in Malaysia.

Reference