MATERIALS AND METHODS: All newly diagnosed patients with NPC referred for treatment to the Oncology unit at UMMC from 2004-2008 were retrospectively analyzed. Treatment outcomes were 5 years overall survival (OS), disease free survival (DFS), cause-specific survival (CSS), loco- regional control (LRC) and radiotherapy-related late effects. The Kaplan-Meier method was used for survival analysis and differences in survival according to AJCC stage was compared using the log-rank test.
RESULTS: A total of 176 patients with newly diagnosed NPC were treated in UMMC during this period. Late presentation was common, with 33.5% presenting with T3-4 disease, 84.7% with N1-3 disease and 75.6% with AJCC stage 3-4 disease. Radical RT was given to 162 patients with 22.7% having RT alone and 69.3% having CCRT. The stipulated OTT was 7 weeks and 72.2% managed to complete their RT within this time period. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy was given to 14.8% while adjuvant chemotherapy was administered to 16.5%. The 5 years OS was 51.6% with a median follow up of 58 months. The 5 years OS according to stage were 81.8% for stage I, 77.9% for stage II, 47.4% for stage III and 25.9% for stage IV. The 5 years overall CSS, DFS and LRC were 54.4%, 48.4% and 70.6%, respectively. RT related late effects were documented in 80.2%. The commonest was xerostomia (66.7%). Other documented late effects were hearing deficit (17.3%), visual deficit (3.1%), neck stiffness (3.1%) , dysphagia (3.4%), cranial nerve palsy (2.5%), pneumonitis (0.6%) and hypothyroidism (1.2%).
CONCLUSIONS: The 5 years OS and LRC in this study are low compared to the latest studies especially those utilizing IMRT. Implementation of IMRT for NPC treatment should be strongly encouraged.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: All newly diagnosed patients with squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck (HNSCC) referred for treatment to the Oncology Unit at UMMC from 2003-2010 were retrospectively analyzed. Treatment outcomes were 5-year overall survival (OS), cause specific survival (CSS), loco-regional control (LRC) and radiotherapy (RT) related side effects. Kaplan-Meier and log rank analyses were used to determine survival outcomes, stratified according to American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stage.
RESULTS: A total of 130 cases were analysed. Most cases (81.5%) were at late stage (AJCC III-IVB) at presentation. The 5-year OS for the whole study population was 34.4% with a median follow up of 24 months. The 5-year OS according to AJCC stage was 100%, 48.2%, 41.4% and 22.0% for stage I, II, III and IVA-B, respectively. The 5-year overall CSS and LCR were 45.4% and 55.4%, respectively. Late effects of RT were documented in 41.4% of patients. The most common late effect was xerostomia.
CONCLUSIONS: The treatment outcome of HNSCC at our centre is lagging behind those of developed nations. Efforts to increase the number of patients presenting in earlier stages, increase in the use of combined modality treatment, especially concurrent chemoradiotherapy and implementation of intensity modulated radiotherapy, may lead to better outcomes for our HNC patients.
METHODS: This retrospective study of Stage III breast cancer patients was conducted over a 5 year period from 1998 to 2002. The survival data were obtained from the National Registry of Births and Deaths with the end-point of the study in April 2006. The Kaplan Meier method was applied for survival analysis. Cox regression analysis by stepwise selection was performed to identify important prognostic factors.
RESULTS: Out of a 155 evaluable patients, 74 (47.7%) had primary surgery, 62 (40%) had neoadjuvant chemotherapy, 10 patients (6.5%) were given Tamoxifen as the primary treatment, while 9 patients (5.8%) defaulted any form of treatment. After neoadjuvant chemotherapy, 9 patients defaulted further treatment, leaving 53 evaluable patients. Out of these 53 evaluable patients, 5 patients (9.4%) had complete pathological response, 5 (9.4%) a complete clinical response, and 26 (49.1%) had partial response after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The 5-year survival in the primary surgery group was 56.7 % compared to 44.7% in the neoadjuvant chemotherapy group (p<0.01). The important prognostic factors were race, size of tumour, nodal status, estrogen receptor status and response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
CONCLUSION: Patients who had primary surgery had better survival than those who underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy, which may be due to bias in the selection of patients for neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Out of a total of 155 patients, 25.1% defaulted part of the treatment, or did not receive optimal treatment, emphasizing the importance of psychosocial support and counselling for this group of patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 81 cases of oral cancers were matched with 162 controls in this hospital-based study. Information on sociodemographic characteristics and details of risk habits (duration, frequency and type of tobacco consumption and betel quid chewing) were collected. Association between smoking and betel quid chewing with oral cancer were analysed using conditional logistic regression.
RESULTS: Slightly more than half of the cases (55.6%) were smokers where 88.9% of them smoked kretek. After adjusting for confounders, smokers have two fold increased risk, while the risk for kretek consumers and those smoking for more than 10 years was increased to almost three-fold. Prevalence of betel quid chewing among cases and controls was low (7.4% and 1.9% respectively). Chewing of at least one quid per day, and quid combination of betel leaf, areca nut, lime and tobacco conferred a 5-6 fold increased risk.
CONCLUSIONS: Smoking is positively associated with oral cancer risk. A similar direct association was also seen among betel quid chewers.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study was used to study the knowledge and awareness towards mammogram amongst women aged 15 years old and above. A systemic random sampling was applied and information gathered through guided interview by using a structured questionnaire.
RESULTS: Eighty-six respondents were recruited. The mean age of respondents was 40.5 years (SD: 15.51) and more than 80% had secondary and tertiary level of education. The percentage of respondents ever performed mammogram was 10.5% (95% CI: 4.0%-17.0%). The rate of correct answers was between 8.1% and 48.8%. Most of the respondents do not sure the answer (45.3%-61.6%) rather than wrongly answer (4.7%-43.0%). Only about 8% truly answer that mammogram should be done once in a life. There are 10.5% of women claimed that mammogram had no serious side effect and not a painful procedure. Nearly half of respondents (48.8%) correctly mentioned that Mammogram can detect breast cancer in early stage.
CONCLUSION: Only a small percentage of women ever performed mammogram and there are seriously unaware and poor knowledge pertaining to mammography screening for breast cancer among women in sub urban area. A massive health education campaign through multiple methods and agencies are needed to enhance the knowledge and awareness on mammogram.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 197 participants were randomly assigned to either the 8-week Kuala Lumpur Qigong Trial or control groups in 2010-2011. Measurement taken at baseline and post- intervention included QoL, distress and fatigue. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and Kruskal Wallis were used to examine for differences between groups in the measurements.
RESULTS: There were 95 consenting participants in this 8week trial. The adherence rates were 63% for Qigong and 65% for the placebo group. The Qigong group showed significant marginal improvement in Quality of life scores compared to placebo (mean difference=7.3 unit; p=0.036), compared to usual care (mean difference=6.7 unit; p=0.048) on Functional Assessment Cancer Therapy-Breast measure. There were no significant changes between the placebo and usual care groups in fatigue or distress at post intervention (8-week).
CONCLUSIONS: Cancer survivors who participated in the Qigong intervention showed slightly better QOL. Follow up studies are greatly needed to evaluate which subgroups may best benefit from Qigong. With a steep rise of cancer survivors, there is an urgent need to explore and engage more cultural means of physical activity to fight side effects of treatment and for cancer control in developing countries.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A systematic review was conducted electronically using the PubMed, OVID, Science Direct, Proquest and Embase databases. All possible studies from 1980 to 2013 were initially screened based on titles and abstracts. The selected articles were subjected to data extraction and quality rating.
RESULTS: Three studies met the inclusion criteria and were eligible for this review. Almost all of the waterpipe tobacco products and its accessories did not comply with the regulations on health warning labelling practices as stipulated under Article 11 of WHO FCTC. In addition, the grisly new warning labels for cigarettes introduced by Food and Drug Administration did not affect hookah tobacco smoking generally. Indoor air quality in smoking lounges was found to be poor and some hookah lounges were operated without smoke shop certification.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings revealed the availability of minimal information on the practices in controlling waterpipe smoking in reducing its prevalence. The lack of comprehensive legislations or practices in controlling waterpipe smoking warrants further research and policy initiatives to curb this burgeoning global epidemic, especially among the vulnerable younger population.