OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to describe the preferences of Malaysian cancer patients regarding the communication of bad news.
METHODOLOGY: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in the Oncology clinic of a tertiary teaching hospital. Two hundred adult cancer patients were recruited via purposive quota sampling. They were required to complete the Malay language version of the Measure of Patients' Preferences (MPP-BM) with minimal researcher assistance. Their responses were analysed using descriptive statistics. Association between demographic characteristics and domain scores were tested using non-parametric statistical tests.
RESULTS: Nine items were rated by the patients as essential: "Doctor is honest about the severity of my condition", "Doctor describing my treatment options in detail", "Doctor telling me best treatment options", Doctor letting me know all of the different treatment options", "Doctor being up to date on research on my type of cancer", "Doctor telling me news directly", "Being given detailed info about results of medical tests", "Being told in person", and "Having doctor offer hope about my condition". All these items had median scores of 5/5 (IQR:4-5). The median scores for the three domains were: "Content and Facilitation" 74/85, "Emotional Support" 23/30 and "Structural and Informational Support" 31/40. Ethnicity was found to be significantly associated with scores for "Content and Facilitation" and "Emotional Support". Educational status was significantly associated with scores for "Structural and Informational Support".
CONCLUSION: Malaysian cancer patients appreciate the ability of the doctor to provide adequate information using good communication skills during the process of breaking bad news. Provision of emotional support, structural support and informational support were also highly appreciated.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Six focus groups were conducted using a semi-structured interview guide on 40 informants (employed multiethnic survivors). Survivors were stratified into three groups for successfully RTW, and another three groups of survivors who were unable to return to work. Each of the three groups was ethnically homogeneous. Thematic analysis using a constant comparative approach was aided by in vivo software.
RESULTS: Participants shared numerous barriers and facilitators which directly or interactively affect RTW. Key barriers were physical-psychological after-effects of treatment, fear of potential environment hazards, high physical job demand, intrusive negative thoughts and overprotective family. Key facilitators were social support, employer support, and regard for financial independence. Across ethnic groups, the main facilitators were financial-independence (for Chinese), and socialisation opportunity (for Malay). A key barrier was after-effects of treatment, expressed across all ethnic groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Numerous barriers were identified in the non-RTW survivors. Health professionals and especially occupational therapists should be consulted to assist the increasing survivors by providing occupational rehabilitation to enhance RTW amongst employed survivors. Future research to identify prognostic factors can guide clinical efforts to restore cancer survivors to their desired level/type of occupational functioning for productivity and wellbeing.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted at the Management and Science University from December 2011 until March 2012. The questionnaire consisted of five sections including socio-demographic, social environment, knowledge about shisha, psychosocial factors, and personal shisha smoking behavior. Obtained data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS 13). T-test was used to determine the relationships between shisha smoking and socio-demographic characteristic.
RESULTS: A total number of 300 medical students participated in this study. Mean age was 22.5±2.5 years. The majority were female, Malay, single, from urban areas (67%, 54%, 97%, 73%; respectively). The prevalence of shisha smoking among medical students was found to be 20%. The study revealed that many students believed that shisha does not contains nicotine, carbon monoxide, does not lead to lung cancer, dental problems and does not lead to cardiovascular diseases (25%, 20.7%, 22.3%, 29%, 26.7%; respectively). Age and sex were found to be significantly associated with smoking shisha status among medical students (p=0.029, p<0.001; respectively). Furthermore, having parents, siblings and friends smokers of shisha were found to be significantly associated with shisha smoking status (p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.001; respectively). Furthermore, family problems, problems with friends, financial problems and university life were found to significantly associated with shisha smoking status among medical students (p<0.001, p=0.002, p<0.001, p=0.002; respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: There is a high prevalence of shisha smoking and a poor knowledge about its impact on health among medical students. More attention is needed to focus on medical education in this regard. The policies that are currently employed in order to reduce the cigarettes smoking should be applied to shisha smoking and shisha products.
METHODOLOGY: This study was a school-based cross-sectional study conducted among 495 secondary school teachers. The questionnaire used in this study consisted of 29 questions categorized into two sections: socio-demographic characteristics and smoking behaviour. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) program 13.0. ANOVA; t-tests were used in univariate analysis; multiple linear regression was applied for multivariate analysis.
RESULTS: The majority of the participants were female (81.6%), in the age group ranged between 30-39 years (44%), Malay (90.1%), married (89.7%), degree holders (85.1%), with monthly income ranged between 3000-3999 Ringgit Malaysia (33.5%), from urban areas (94.7%), their specialty is social studies (33.9%) and with no family history of cancer (83.6%). The prevalence of smoking among school teachers in Malaysia was found to be 7.8%. Regarding reasons to start smoking among school teachers: the major reason was found to be relaxation (33.3%), followed by stress-relief (28.2%). Univariate analysis showed that sex, educational status, monthly income and residency were significantly associated with smoking among school teachers (p<0.001, p=0.004, p=0.031, p=0.010; respectively). Multivariate analysis showed that gender and marital status were significantly associated with smoking among school teachers (p<0.001, p=0.033; respectively).
CONCLUSION: The prevalence of smoking among school teachers in Malaysia was found to be relatively low. Sex, marital status, educational status, monthly income and residency were significantly associated with smoking among school teachers.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine the survival rate of breast cancer among the women of Malaysia and characteristics of the survivors.
METHOD: A retrospective cohort study was conducted on secondary data obtained from the Breast Cancer Registry and medical records of breast cancer patients admitted to Hospital Kuala Lumpur from 2005 to 2009. Survival data were validated with National Birth and Death Registry. Statistical analysis applied logistic regression, the Cox proportional hazard model, the Kaplan-Meier method and log rank test.
RESULTS: A total of 868 women were diagnosed with breast cancer between January 2005 and December 2009, comprising 58%, 25% and 17% Malays, Chinese and Indians, respectively. The overall survival rate was 43.5% (CI 0.573-0.597), with Chinese, Indians and Malays having 5 year survival rates of 48.2% (CI 0.444-0.520), 47.2% (CI 0.432-0.512) and 39.7% (CI 0.373-0.421), respectively (p<0.05). The survival rate was lower as the stages increased, with the late stages were mostly seen among the Malays (46%), followed by Chinese (36%) and Indians (34%). Size of tumor>3.0cm; lymph node involvement, ERPR, and HER 2 status, delayed presentation and involvement of both breasts were among other factors that were associated with poor survival.
CONCLUSIONS: The overall survival rate of Malaysian women with breast cancer was lower than the western figures with Malays having the lowest because they presented at late stage, after a long duration of symptoms, had larger tumor size, and had more lymph nodes affected. There is an urgent need to conduct studies on why there is delay in diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer women in Malaysia.
METHODS: Stool DNA was isolated and tumor-associated high molecular weight DNA (1.476 kb fragment including exons 6-9 of the p53 gene) was amplified using PCR and visualized on ethidium bromide-stained agarose gels.
RESULTS: Out of 32 CRC patients, 18 were positive for the presence of high molecular weight DNA as compared to none of the healthy individuals, resulting in an overall sensitivity of 56.3% with 100% specificity. Out of 32 patients, 23 had tumor on the left side and 9 on the right side, 16 and 2 being respectively positive. This showed that high molecular weight DNA was significantly (p=0.022) more detectable in patients with left side tumor (69.6% vs 22.2%). Out of 32 patients, 22 had tumors larger than 1.0 cm, 18 of these (81.8%) being positive for long DNA as compared to not a single patient with tumor size smaller than 1.0 cm (p<0.001).
CONCLUSION: We detected CRC-related high molecular weight p53 DNA in stool samples of CRC patients with an overall sensitivity of 56.3% with 100% specificity, with a strong tumor size dependence.
OBJECTIVE: To propose a model that provides a methodological tool to increase women's participation in the decision making process towards breast cancer prevention. To address this, an evaluation framework was developed that includes a typology of community participation approaches (models) in health, as well as five levels of participation in health programs proposed by Rifkin (1985 and 1991).
METHOD: This model explains the community participation approaches in breast cancer prevention in Iran. In a 'medical approach', participation occurs in the form of women's adherence to mammography recommendations. As a 'health services approach', women get the benefits of a health project or participate in the available program activities related to breast cancer prevention. The model provides the five levels of participation in health programs along with the 'health services approach' and explains how to implement those levels for women's participation in available breast cancer prevention programs at the local level.
CONCLUSION: It is hoped that a focus on the 'medical approach' (top-down) and the 'health services approach' (top-down) will bring sustainable changes in breast cancer prevention and will consequently produce the 'community development approach' (bottom-up). This could be achieved using a comprehensive approach to breast cancer prevention by combining the individual and community strategies in designing an intervention program for breast cancer prevention.
METHODS: Baseline awareness and impact of the campaign was measured using self-administered questionnaires sent via email to individuals. The campaign was aired on two national television channels and the reach was monitored through an independent programme monitoring system.
RESULTS: 78.2% of respondents had heard of oral cancer, and this increased significantly after the campaign. However, the ability to recognize signs and symptoms remains unchanged. We found that the level of awareness differed between the distinct ethnic subgroups and the reach of the campaign was not uniform across all ethnicities.
CONCLUSION: This substantial study to measure the oral cancer awareness in Malaysia provides important baseline data for the planning of public health policies. Despite encouraging evidence that a mass media campaign could increase the awareness of oral cancer, further research is required to address the acceptability, comprehensiveness and effectiveness. Furthermore, different campaign approaches may be required for specific ethnic groups in a multi-ethnic country such as Malaysia.
METHOD: Findings of the Third National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS-3) by the Ministry of Health, Malaysia, were used. The sample consisted of 34,539 observations. A logistic regression model was thus applied to estimate the probability to participate in smoking.
RESULTS: Age, income, gender, marital status, ethnicity, employment status, residential area, education, lifestyle and health status were statistically significant in affecting the likelihood of smoking. Specifically, youngsters, low income earners, males, unmarried individuals, Malays, employed individuals, rural residents and primary educated individuals were more likely to smoke.
CONCLUSION: In conclusion, socio-demographic, lifestyle and health factors have significant impacts on smoking participation in Malaysia. Based on these empirical findings, several policy implications are suggested.
METHODS: We carried a review of medical records of breast and lung cancer patients hospitalized in years 2003 and 2009 at Penang General Hospital, a public tertiary care center in Penang Island, north of Malaysia. Patients with hypercalcemia (defined as a calcium level above 10.5 mg/dl) at the time of cancer diagnosis or during cancer treatment had their medical history abstracted, including presence of metastasis, chemotherapy types and doses, calcium levels throughout cancer treatment, and other co-morbidity. The mean calcium levels at first hospitalization before chemotherapy were compared with calcium levels at the end of or at the latest chemotherapy treatment. Statistical analysis was conducted using the Chi-square test for categorical data, logistic regression test for categorical variables, and Spearman correlation test, linear regression and the paired sample t tests for continuous data.
RESULTS: Of a total 1,023 of breast cancer and 814 lung cancer patients identified, 292 had hypercalcemia at first hospitalization or during cancer treatment (174 breast and 118 lung cancer patients). About a quarter of these patients had advanced stage cancers: 26.4% had mild hypercalcemia (10.5-11.9 mg/dl), 55.5% had moderate (12-12.9 mg/dl), and 18.2% severe hypercalcemia (13-13.9; 14-16 mg/dl). Chemotherapy lowered calcium levels significantly both in breast and lung cancer patients with hypercalcemia; in particular with chemotherapy type 5-flurouracil+epirubicin+cyclophosphamide (FEC) for breast cancer, and gemcitabine+cisplatin in lung cancer.
CONCLUSION: Chemotherapy decreases calcium levels in breast and lung cancer cases with hypercalcemia at cancer diagnosis, probably by reducing PTHrP levels.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients who were treated with adjuvant taxane-based chemotherapy for early breast cancer stages I, II or III from 2007-2011 in UMMC were identified from our UMMC Breast Cancer Registry. The TRD and FN rates were then determined retrospectively from medical records. TRD was defined as death occurring during or within 30 days of completing chemotherapy as a consequence of the chemotherapy treatment. FN was defined as an oral temperature >38.5°C or two consecutive readings of >38.0°C for 2 hours and an absolute neutrophil count <0.5x109/L, or expected to fall below 0.5x109/L.
RESULTS: A total of 622 patients received adjuvant chemotherapy during this period. Of these patients 209 (33.6%) received taxane-based chemotherapy. 4 taxane-based regimens were used namely the FEC-D, TC, TAC and AC-PCX regimens. The commonest regimen employed was the FEC-D regimen accounting for 79.9% of the patients. The FN rate was 10% and there was no TRD.
CONCLUSION: Adjuvant taxane-based chemotherapy in UMMC for early breast cancer has a FN rate of 10%. Primary prophylactic G-CSF should be considered for patients with any additional risk factor for FN.
METHODS: Clinicopathological data were retrieved from the archived formal pathology reports for surgical specimens diagnosed as invasive ductal carcinoma, NOS. Microvessels were immunohistochemically stained with anti-CD34 antibody and quantified as microvessel density.
RESULTS: At least 50% of 94 cases of invasive breast ductal carcinoma in the study were advanced stage. The majority had poor prognosis factors such as tumor size larger than 50mm (48.9%), positive lymph node metastasis (60.6%), and tumor grade III (52.1%). Higher percentages of estrogen and progesterone receptor negative cases were recorded (46.8% and 46.8% respectively). Her-2 overexpression cases and triple negative breast cancers constituted 24.5% and 22.3% respectively. Significantly higher microvessel density was observed in the younger patient age group (p=0.012). There were no significant associations between microvessel density and other clinicopathological factors (p>0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Majority of the breast cancer patients of this institution had advanced stage disease with poorer prognostic factors as compared to other local and western studies. Breast cancer in younger patients might be more proangiogenic.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: This review involves 6 cohort studies of dietary patterns and their association with colorectal cancer. An exploratory or a posteriori approach and a hypothesis-oriented or a priori approach were employed to identify dietary patterns.
RESULTS: The dietary pattern identified to be protective against CRC was healthy, prudent, fruits and vegetables, fat reduced/diet foods, vegetables/fish/poultry, fruit/wholegrain/dairy, healthy eating index 2005, alternate healthy eating index, Mediterranean score and recommended food score. An elevated risk of CRC was associated with Western diet, pork processed meat, potatoes, traditional meat eating, and refined grain pattern.
CONCLUSION: The Western dietary pattern which mainly consists of red and processed meat and refined grains is associated with an elevated risk of development of CRC. Protective factors against CRC include a healthy or prudent diet, consisting of vegetables, fruits, fish and poultry.
OBJECTIVE: To assess teachers' knowledge and perception of HPV, cervical cancer and HPV vaccine prior to commencing a school-based HPV vaccination program in a multiethnic, predominantly Muslim country. Factors associated with acceptability of the vaccine were identified.
METHOD: A bilingual questionnaire was applied to 1,500 secondary school teachers from 20 urban schools in Malaysia. Data collected were analyzed using SPSS version 17.
RESULTS: 1,166 questionnaires were returned. From this group, 46.1% had never heard of HPV while 50.9% had never had a pap smear. However, 73.8% have heard of the HPV vaccine with 75% agreeing to have it. 96% considered themselves religious with 79.8% agreeing to have the vaccine.
CONCLUSIONS: A national school-based HPV immunization program can be implemented effectively in a multiethnic, cultural and religious country despite limited knowledge of HPV-related pathology among teachers. In addition, the perception that religion has a negative influence on such a program is unwarranted.
METHODS: This hospital based case control study conducted in the Western part of Nepal covered a total of 93 cancer patients with or without alcohol intake and smoking habits, along with 94 age, sex and habit-matched individuals serving as controls. Plasma thiobarbituric acid reacting substances (TBARS), total antioxidant activity (TAA), vitamin C, α-tocopherol and erythrocyte reduced glutathione (GSH) were estimated and compared.
RESULTS: The TBARS level was found to be significantly higher (p≤0.001) in all types of cancer patients when compared to controls, being aggravated in alcoholics with a smoking habit. No statistical significance (p≥0.05) was observed in the level of vitamin C and α-tocopherol. GSH and TAA level were significantly decreased (p≤0.001) in all the groups except those who consumed both branded as well as homemade alcohol and non-alcoholics without smoking habit.
CONCLUSION: Alcohol, irrespective of its commercial brand, increases oxidative stress in all types of cancer patients. This is even higher when alcohol intake is combined with a smoking habit. Decreased TAA and GSH are major risk factors for cancer development.