More often than not, improving access improves survival.
Malaysia has the worst survival of breast cancer in the Asia Pacific, with only 49% of patients having 5-year survival year (as compared to 80% in Singapore and 92% in Korea). A major reason for this is late presentation and poor adherence to evidence-based treatment.
Studies in psychosocial factors show that fear, poor health education, and lack of empowerment among Malaysians are major reasons why they delay or default treatment. In order to address these challenges, CRM identified the patient navigation programme as a potential community-based solution to improve the Malaysian survivorship of breast cancer.
Patient Navigation Programme is a programme spearheaded by Cancer Research Malaysia in collaboration with the Ministry of Health with the aim of managing breast cancer patients in the country, especially those from the B40 community.Read More
In 2014, Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Klang (HTAR) and Cancer Research Malaysia integrated Patient Navigation Programme (PNP) in the management of Breast Cancer patients. This was a pilot programme with the aim to overcome barriers faced by patient in the continuum of care. Recognizing the importance of the programme the hospital allocated a meeting room, now known as the Pink Ribbon Centre (PRC), as the location for the hospital-based navigation.
In this centre alone, in 2015, the total referrals of those highly suspicious of breast cancer stood at 1,034. The programme successfully navigated 669 breast cancer patients and recorded a total of 7,585 registered visit to PRC. Cancer Research Malaysia working together with the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) hospital to replicate the similar demonstration to other MOH hospital.
Through our collaborative efforts, in 2019, we have successfully launched and completed all the work in expanding the programmes to other centres in Hospital Queen Elizabeth 2, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Hospital Tuanku Ja’afar, Seremban & Hospital Umum, Kuching, Sarawak in the hope to improve Malaysian survivorship of breast cancer.