By Shahfizal Musa
Pix Ismail Ibrahim
Pix Ismail Ibrahim
KUALA LUMPUR, 21 Jun 201 - Women who have more children and breastfeed them for a long period of time can reduce the risk of getting breast cancer.
A pathologist at The National University of Malaysia (UKM), Prof Dr Aishah Md Ali said breast cancer can be reduced by half in developed countries by just having more children and breastfeeding their babies for some time.
Giving her inaugural lecture on ‘Women, Tumor and Cancer, the Pathological Perspective’ she explained in great detail about cancers that affect women.
Prof Aishah has written a book on the subject and had also presented more than 130 papers in various conferences around the world.
Though Malaysia is moving towards the developed nation status it can still significantly reduce the number of such cases if Malaysian women are to practice the risk mitigation methods.
She said those methods had been prescribed in Islam which were later discovered by western researchers.
In Malaysia cancer is the third highest cause of death in hospitals with breast cancer taking the lead, followed by cervix, colon, ovarian, leukemia and lung cancer.
Risks faced by the various racial groups in Malaysia have to be assessed separately as each race have their own lifestyles and their risk has to be assessed separately in order to give the best treatment possible.
She quoted a local study that evaluated the risks of cancer in the three major races, Malays, Chinese and Indians.
The study shows that the risk of breast cancer is highest among Chinese and lowest for the Malays that is 1 in 16 chance for the Chinese to get breast cancer, 1 in 17 for the Indians and 1 in 28 chance for the Malays.
Breast Cancer Risk
The Chinese also faces a higher risk than the rest when it comes to cervical cancer. The life expectancy is reduced from one to 40 Chinese suffering from cervical cancer. For the Indians the risk is 1 in 50 of a reduced life expectancy, while for the Malays the risk of life expectancy reduction is only 1 in 111.
Life Expectancy Risk
For cervical cancer 80 percent of the dire cases are found in developing countries as severe cases in developed countries have been reduced due to the use of screening methods enabling early detections.
Present at the lecture was the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic and International Affairs), Professor Dato' Ir Dr Othman A. Karim; Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Professor Dato’ Dr Raymond Azman Ali, academics, physicians and students.