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Doc: Increase in Sabah colorectal cancer cases
Published on: Monday, April 29, 2024
By: Jo Ann Mool
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Liew (centre) listening to Dr Khrisnan (right) while visiting one of the booths at the event while Dr Asit (left) and Dr Kelvin (second left) look on.
PENAMPANG: Greater awareness on the importance of screening for colorectal cancer urged to increase early detection.

Studies show that colorectal cancer screening is the only one that is able to save lives, said organising chairperson of the Colorectal CARE event at the ITCC mall here, Datuk Dr Ratha Krishnan Sriram.

“Based on our National Cancer Registry 2017, Colorectal Cancers are the second most common cancer seen in Malaysia.

“It is the most common cancer in males and the second most for females. Statistics from Sabah Health Department also show Colorectal Cancer is the second most common cancer among the Sabah population,” said Dr Krishnan, who is consultant and surgeon at Gleneagles Kota Kinabalu.

“The cancer is on the rise and we are not sure why.

“What is more worrying, we see a slightly higher incidence among the younger population.

“Most of the patients referred to hospital are at Stage Three and Stage Four of the disease,” said Dr Ratha, the only Colorectal Surgeon in Sabah at the moment.

“C.A.R.E meant Cancer Awareness, Resource and Education, a campaign of awareness regarding colorectal cancer, talking about screening, improving knowledge on the risk factors and its general disease to the public and also to give an overview of the treatment or option to the patient so that they have what they should going through when doing their treatment.”


He said Colorectal cancer treatment has progressed significantly the past decade, especially in surgical procedures together with the subsequent cancer treatment in terms of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

He deals with most of the cancers laparoscopically which is the minimally invasive approach.

 “I believe this improves the outcome of our patient with early return to their daily activities and continue their subsequence cancer treatment without compromising on the oncologic outcome,” he said.

Dr Krishnan also mentioned he had attended a workshop on peritoneal malignancy a few days ago.

“Before this for those cancers with peritoneal spread or outside the layer of abdomen, we had nothing much to offer, now we have offered options to improve their quality of life, improve their survival.

“We have less than seven doctors in Malaysia who could perform this operation.” he said.

He said that the outcome of the cancer surgery also very much depends on who is actually performing the surgery.

“We are not just aiming at taking out the cancer, but we also aiming to improve the recurrence, disease-free survival and overall survival of the patient.

“Even in taking out the cancer, it has to be in an oncologic manner and this is the key point of the success of the treatment.”

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew representing Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor officiated the event.

Also present were State Health Director Datuk Dr Asits Sanna, State Health Department Deputy Director (Public Health) Dr Maria Suleiman and Gleneagles Hospital Kota Kinabalu Chief Executive Officer Dr Kelvin Ch’ng.





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