MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twelve respondents from three major ethnicities in Malaysia were selected from the quantitative study on dietary pattern and colorectal cancer carried out earlier in this study. In-depth interviews (IDI), conducted from April until June 2012, were mainly in the Malay language with additional use of English and continued until the saturation point was reached. All interviews were autorecorded so that verbatim transcriptions could be created.
RESULTS: Causes of colorectal cancer were categorized into internal and external factors. The majority of respondents agreed that there is an association between Western foods and colorectal cancer. Malaysian traditional diet was not related to colorectal cancer as less preservative agents were used. Malaysian diet preparation consisting of taste of cooking (spicy, salty and sour foods) plus type of cooking (fry, grilled and smoked) were considered causes of colorectal cancer. All respondents changed their dietary pattern to healthy food after being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Advice from doctors regarding suitable food for colorectal cancer was useful in this regard.
CONCLUSIONS: Eating outside, use of food flavoring ingredients and preservative agents were considered to be the main factors causing colorectal cancer. All respondents admitted that they changed to a healthy diet after being diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: An extensive systematic electronic review (PUBMED, CINAHL, PsyINFO and Ovid) and handsearch were carried out to retrieve published articles up to November 2012, using Depression OR Dysthymia AND (Cancer OR Tumor OR Neoplasms as the keywords. Information about the design of the studies, measuring scale, characteristics of the participants, prevalence of depression and its associated factors from the included studies were extracted and summarized.
RESULTS: We identified 32 eligible studies that recruited 10,826 breast cancer survivors. Most were cross-sectional or prospective designed. The most frequent instrument used to screen depression was the Center for Epidemiological Studies for Depression (CES-D, n=11 studies) followed by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI, n=6 studies) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS, n=6 studies). CES-D returned about similar prevalence of depression (median=22%, range=13-56%) with BDI (median=22%, range=17-48%) but higher than HADS (median=10%, range=1-22%). Depression was associated with several socio-demographic variables, cancer-related factors, treatment-related factors, subject psychological factors, lifestyle factors, social support and quality of life.
CONCLUSIONS: Breast cancer survivors are at risk for depression so that detection of associated factors is important in clinical practice.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data from 10 consecutive patients treated with IMRT from June-October 2011 in Penang General Hospital were collected retrospectively for analysis. For each patient, dose volume histograms were generated for both the IMRT and 3DCRT plans using a total dose of 70Gy. Comparison of the plans was accomplished by comparing the target volume coverage (5 measures) and sparing of organs at risk (17 organs) for each patient using both IMRT and 3DCRT. The means of each comparison target volume coverage measures and organs at risk measures were obtained and tested for statistical significance using the paired Student t-test.
RESULTS: All 5 measures for target volume coverage showed marked dosimetric superiority of IMRT over 3DCRT. V70 and V66.5 for PTV70 showed an absolute improvement of 39.3% and 24.1% respectively. V59.4 and V56.4 for PTV59.4 showed advantages of 18.4% and 16.4%. Moreover, the mean PTV70 dose revealed a 5.1 Gy higher dose with IMRT. Only 4 out of 17 organs at risk showed statistically significant difference in their means which were clinically meaningful between the IMRT and 3DCRT techniques. IMRT was superior in sparing the spinal cord (less 5.8Gy), V30 of right parotid (less 14.3%) and V30 of the left parotid (less 13.1%). The V55 of the left cochlea was lower with 3DCRT (less 44.3%).
CONCLUSIONS: IMRT is superior to 3DCRT due to its dosimetric advantage in target volume coverage while delivering acceptable doses to organs at risk. A total dose of 70Gy with IMRT should be considered as a standard of care for radical treatment of NPC.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A quasi-experimental study was conducted at the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC) over six months. Prostate cancer patients from UMMC received the intervention and patients from UKMMC were taken as controls. The level of depression, anxiety and stress were measured using Depression, Anxiety Stress Scales - 21 (DASS-21).
RESULTS: A total of 77 patients from the UMMC and 78 patients from the UKMMC participated. At the end of the study, 90.9% and 87.2% of patients from the UMMC and UKMMC groups completed the study respectively. There were significant improvements in anxiety (p<0.001, partial ?2=0.198) and stress (p<0.001, partial ?2=0.103) at the end of the study in those receiving muscle training. However, there was no improvement in depression (p=0.956).
CONCLUSIONS: The improvement in anxiety and stress showed the potential of APMRT in the management of prostate cancer patients. Future studies should be carried out over a longer duration to provide stronger evidence for the introduction of relaxation therapy among prostate cancer patients as a coping strategy to improve their anxiety and stress.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Electronic databases were systematically searched for randomized controlled trials incorporated as lifestyle activity through MEDLINE with the associated terms "physical activity or exercise", "quality of life" and "cancer survivor or people with cancer", 'lifestyle' and 'randomised controlled trial'. The period of search was confined to publication within January 2008 till December 2012 and further limits were to full text, peer reviewed, abstract available and English language.
RESULTS: Based on inclusion criteria, 45 articles were retrieved. Of these, 41 were excluded after examining the full paper. Four final articles on randomized controlled trials were studied to determine the effectiveness of PA to improve the quality of life in post treatment cancer survivors and positive associations were found.
CONCLUSIONS: Physical activity is related to better quality of life of cancer survivors. Only one paper had characteristics of lifestyle incorporation for a lifestyle redesign, but none overtly or actively promoting exercise interventions as an essential lifestyle activity. With increasing survivorship, the benefits of physical activity must be aggressively and overtly promoted to optimize its positive impact.
METHODS: One hundred and twenty cervical cancer patients diagnosed between 1st July 1995 and 30th June 2007 were identified. Data were obtained from medical records. The survival probability was determined using the Kaplan-Meier method and the log-rank test was applied to compare the survival distribution between groups.
RESULTS: The overall five-year survival was 39.7% [95%CI (Confidence Interval): 30.7, 51.3] with a median survival time of 40.8 (95%CI: 34.0, 62.0) months. The log-rank test showed that there were survival differences between the groups for the following variables: stage at diagnosis (p=0.005); and primary treatment (p=0.0242). Patients who were diagnosed at the latest stage (III-IV) were found to have the lowest survival, 18.4% (95%CI: 6.75, 50.1), compared to stage I and II where the five-year survival was 54.7% (95%CI: 38.7, 77.2) and 40.8% (95%CI: 27.7, 60.3), respectively. The five-year survival was higher in patients who received surgery [52.6% (95%CI: 37.5, 73.6)] as a primary treatment compared to the non-surgical group [33.3% (95%CI: 22.9, 48.4)].
CONCLUSION: The five-year survival of cervical cancer patients in this study was low. The survival of those diagnosed at an advanced stage was low compared to early stages. In addition, those who underwent surgery had higher survival than those who had no surgery for primary treatment.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This prospective interventional study with a before and after design requested a single group of 96 nurses in 15 wards actively providing chemotherapy to answer a self-administered questionnaire. A performance checklist was then used to determine the compliance of all these wards with the recommended safety measures. The first and second assessments took 2 months respectively with a 9-month intervention period. Pharmacist-based interventions included a series of technical, educational and administrative support measures consisting of the initiation of closed-system cytotoxic drug reconstitution (CDR) services, courses, training workshops and guideline updates.
RESULTS: The mean age of nurses was 32.2∓6.19 years. Most of them were female (93.8%) and married (72.9%). The mean knowledge score of nurses was significantly increased from 45.5∓10.52 to 73.4∓8.88 out of 100 (p<0.001) at the end of the second assessment. Overall, the mean practice score among the wards was improved from 7.6∓5.51 to 15.3∓2.55 out of 20 (p<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: The pharmacist-based interventions improved the knowledge, attitude and safe practices of nurses in cytotoxic drug handling. Further assessment may help to confirm the sustainability of the improved practices.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A descriptive study involved 58 Malays and 15 Chinese women newly diagnosed with breast cancer prior to treatment. Quality of life was measured using the Malay version of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) and its breast-specific module (QLQ-BR23). Socio-demographic and clinical data were also collected. All the data were analyzed using SPSS version 20.0.
RESULTS: Most of the women were married with at least a secondary education and were in late stages of breast cancer. The Malay women had lower incomes (p=0.046) and more children (p=0.001) when compared to the Chinese women. Generally, both the Malay and Chinese women had good functioning quality-of-life scores [mean score range: 60.3-84.8 (Malays); 65.0-91.1 (Chinese)] and global quality of life [mean score 60.3, SD 22.2 (Malays); mean score 65.0, SD 26.6 (Chinese)]. The Malay women experienced more symptoms such as nausea and vomiting (p=0.002), dyspnoea (p=0.004), constipation (p<0.001) and breast-specific symptoms (p=0.041) when compared to the Chinese.
CONCLUSIONS: Quality of life was satisfactory in both Malays and Chinese women newly diagnosed with breast cancer in Kelantan. However, Malay women had a lower quality of life due to high general as well as breast-specific symptoms. This study finding underlined the importance of measuring quality of life in the newly diagnosed breast cancer patient, as it will provide a broader picture on how a cancer diagnosis impacts multi-ethnic patients. Once health care professionals understand this, they might then be able to determine how to best support and improve the quality of life of these women during the difficult times of their disease and on-going cancer treatments.
AIM: The aim of this study was to assess gender differences in future doctors' receptiveness to currently implemented anti-smoking messages and the effectiveness of those messages.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We administered a questionnaire to all students at a medical university in Malaysia, asking how frequently they noted anti- smoking policies, anti-smoking campaigns, and anti-smoking messages in schools. In addition, the questionnaire investigated most effective methods to convey these messages.
RESULTS: A total of 522 (59.7%) students responded. Students were least likely to approve of total bans on cigarettes and increasing the price of cigarettes, and most likely to approve of bans on use of cigarettes in public places and sales to individuals less than 16 years old. Approval of total bans on cigarettes was more common in female students than in males OR=0.39 (95%CI: 0.18- 0.86). Furthermore, compared to the female students, the male students thought that printed media; OR=2.32 (95%CI: 1.31-4.10), radio; OR=1.93 (95%CI: 1.15-3.22) and the internet; OR=1.96 (95%CI: 1.15-3.33) were very effective at delivering anti-smoking messages.
CONCLUSIONS: Gender differences existed in the future doctors' perception of the effectiveness of anti-smoking initiatives. Taking this gender difference into account may increase the receipt of anti-smoking messages in adolescents.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The MVBITS was 'forward-backward' translated from English to Malay and then administered to 70 female breast cancer patients who came to the Oncology Clinic of University Malaya Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to undergo chemotherapy. Principal component analysis (PCA) with varimax rotation was performed to explore the factor structure of the MVBITS. Associations of retained factors were estimated with reference to Spearman correlation coefficients.
RESULTS: The internal consistency reliability of MVBITS was good (Cronbach's alpha 0.945) and showed temporal stability over a 3-week period. Principal component analysis suggested two factors termed as 'Intrusion' and 'Avoidance' domains. These factors explained 70.3% of the variance. Factor 1 comprised the effects of breast cancer treatment on the emotion and thought, while Factor 2 informed attempts to limit exposure of the body to self or others. The Factor 1 of MVBITS was positively correlated with total, depression and anxiety sub-scores of HADS. Factor 2 was positively correlated with total and anxiety sub-scores of HADS. MVBITS was also positively correlated with the RSES scores.
CONCLUSIONS: The results showed that the Malay Version of Breast-Impact of Treatment Scale possesses satisfactory psychometric properties suggesting that this instrument is appropriate for assessment of body change stress among female breast cancer patients in Malaysia.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 388 Chinese undergraduate students in a private university in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, were recruited to evaluate the developed self-administered questionnaire. The CAQ consisted of four sections: awareness of cancer warning signs and screening tests; knowledge of cancer risk factors; barriers in seeking medical advice; and attitudes towards cancer and cancer prevention. The questionnaire was evaluated for construct validity using principal component analysis and internal consistency using Cronbach's alpha (α) coefficient. Test-retest reliability was assessed with a 10-14 days interval and measured using Pearson product-moment correlation.
RESULTS: The initial 77-item CAQ was reduced to 63 items, with satisfactory construct validity, and a high total internal consistency (Cronbach's α=0.77). A total of 143 students completed the questionnaire for the test-retest reliability obtaining a correlation of 0.72 (p<0.001) overall.
CONCLUSIONS: The CAQ could provide a reliable and valid measure that can be used to assess cancer awareness among local Chinese undergraduate students. However, further studies among students from different backgrounds (e.g. ethnicity) are required in order to facilitate the use of the cancer awareness questionnaire among all university students.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out among 262 female undergraduate students in University Putra Malaysia using a validated questionnaire which was developed for this study.
RESULTS: The mean age of respondents was 22∓2.3 years. Most of them were single (83.1%), Malay (42.3%) and 20.7% reported having a family history of breast cancer. Eighty-seven (36.7%) claimed they had practiced BSE. Motivation and self-efficacy of the respondents who performed BSE were significantly higher compared with women who did not (p<0.05).There was no association between BSE practice and demographic details (p<0.05). Logistic regression analysis indicated that women who perceived greater motivation (OR=1.089, 95%CI: 1.016-1.168) and had higher confidence of BSE (OR=1.076, 95%CI: 1.028-1.126) were more likely to perform the screening.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings show that Malaysian young female's perception regarding breast cancer and the practice of BSE is low. Targeted education should be implemented to improve early detection of breast cancer.