Kelantanese women avoid cancer screening for fear of losing husbands
Kelantanese women avoid cancer screening for fear of losing husbands

Kelantanese women avoid cancer screening for fear of losing husbands, burdening family

KOTA BHARU: Fear of losing their husbands and becoming a burden to their families are among the reasons many women in Kelantan avoid early cancer screenings provided by the National Population and Family Development Board in the state.

Director Zaharin Bakri said that as of April, only 130 women had undergone cervical and breast cancer screenings at the board’s Nur Sejahtera clinics.

He stated that this figure is meagre compared to other states, considering there are approximately 500,000 women in Kelantan who may be at risk of these diseases.

“Many women in Kelantan are still hesitant or unwilling to undergo cancer screenings due to these factors and a lack of awareness about the services provided by the government. Yet, breast and cervical cancers are among the leading causes of death for women in Malaysia,” he said.

Zaharin spoke to reporters on Saturday (May 18) at the Kelantan state-level Mother’s Day celebration in conjunction with the Women’s Reproductive Cancer Awareness Campaign, officiated by Tengku Puan Temenggong of Kelantan, Tunku Datuk Noor Hayati Tunku Abdul Rahman.

Zaharin highlighted that the National Population and Family Development Board aims to have 500 women undergo cancer screenings this year to help more women detect the disease early.

He mentioned that only 350 women took advantage of the screening services last year.

“The Kelantan National Population and Family Development Board has identified cases of breast cancer in women as young as their early 20s. These women were able to receive treatment because their cancer was detected early.

“The government has provided the Mammogram Test Subsidy since 2007 to provide free screenings for women nationwide. We hope that women in Kelantan will fully utilise this service,” he added.

Zaharin also urged men to actively encourage their wives, mothers, and other female family members to undergo screenings to ensure the health and well-being of their families.

He added that the National Population and Family Development Board will continue to increase awareness about this service in the state through collaboration with various agencies and ongoing campaigns. – BK

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