The registry of the Oncology Departmental in Sarawak General Hospital showed that 79% of nasopharyngeal, 77% of breast and 70% of cervix cancer patients were diagnosed at an advanced stage (stages III and IV) for year 1993. Hence, a low cost Early Cancer Surveillance Program was started in 1994, with the intent of downstaging these three most common cancers in Sarawak.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
The program consisted of (i) training health staff in hospital and rural clinics to improve their skills in early cancer detection, (ii) raising public awareness through pamphlets, posters and sensitization by health staff.
Data analysis revealed that the program achieved downstaging in two of the cancers. Breast cancer in stage III and IV was reduced from 60% (1994) to 35% (1998) (P < 0.0001) and cervical cancer in stage III and IV from 60% (1994) to 26% (1998) (P < 0.0001). No reduction was observed for nasopharyngeal cancer at 88% (1994) to 91% (1998).
The overall cost of this program was
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.