Health Minister sounds cancer alarm bell for millennials

Dr Dzulkefly speaks to the staff of Hospital Ampang. - Bernama

PETALING JAYA: Obesity-related types of cancer rose significantly among millennials and most are only being detected at the late stage, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

He said millennials need to wake up to this fact as studies have found that of 12 of the most prevalent cancers, millennials are among the most affected.

“About 60% of patients are coming in late at stage three.

“The first stage of identification and diagnosis can be done at all health clinics (Klinik Kesihatan),” he said.

Dr Dzulkefly admitted that there is a lack of oncologists in the country and more so in the public health system.

He was speaking to the media after a Chinese New Year visit to the Ampang Hospital wards here on Wednesday (Feb 6).

Earlier this week, a report by the American Cancer Society published in The Lancet Public Health, found that cancers fuelled by obesity are on the rise among young adults in the United States and appearing at increasingly younger ages.

The study examined data on 12 obesity-related cancers between 1995 and 2014, as well as 18 common cancers not associated with weight. They found a disturbing trend among adults age 24 to 49, with millennials being those aged between 25 and 38.

According to CNN, the six obesity-related cancers that showed startling increases among younger adults were colorectal, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney, pancreatic and multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow.

Most of these cancers have traditionally shown up in patients later in life, usually in their 60s and 70s, CNN reported.

Yet the study found some of the most significant increases were seen in the millennial age bracket, the cable news network said.


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