Early Detection
Early detection of cancer improves the chances of a cure, but this is not without controversy.
For some cancers (particularly breast and prostate cancer), screening can lead to the diagnosis of slowly growing non-life threatening cancers.
Screening can also be expensive, and in most Asian countries, there is not enough money in the public purse to ensure everyone receives screening.
That’s why we are doing everything we can to focus on developing ways to improve screening at an affordable cost.

How we’ve made a difference

  1. Conducted research that showed 1 in 20 Malaysians develop breast cancer due to inheriting the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. This information played an important role in the development of specialised clinics to help families with inherited variants to manage their risk and prevent cancer. Empowered by the knowledge of their high risk to cancer, individuals can undergo preventative surgery or intensify screening for early detection. Find out more about our Asian Risk Calculator (ARiCa) here.
  2. Worked with the Ministry of Health and other partners to show that a mobile phone app is feasible in the early detection of oral cancer. Find out more about the MeMoSA here and here.

What we’re doing now

  1. We are collaborating with international experts (led by Professor Doug Easton) in carrying out large studies to identify genetic variations that affect people’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer. These tests could aid in spotting people at high risk from these cancers; in the future, they could be offeed tailored screening or prevention advice.
  2. Professor Woon Yin Ling is working with the Ministry of Health to investigate whether women can take their own cervical swab at Klinik Kesihatan, and receive an accurate diagnosis of early stage cervical cancer.
  3. Nabibah Haron is working with the Ministry of Health to investigate whether a mobile phone app can aid in identifying people with suspicious growths in their mouths that could develop into oral cancer if they aren’t treated early. Our researchers are helping to tackle the barriers of screening, particularly in rural populations where people may not be aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer.
If you need more information about the signs and symptoms of cancer, please download our “Be Frank” booklet:
Be Frank Women Booklet
Be Frank Men Booklet