Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 521 in total

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  1. Abdullah A, Abdullah KL, Yip CH, Teo SH, Taib NA, Ng CJ
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2013;14(12):7143-7.
    PMID: 24460266
    BACKGROUND: The survival outcomes for women presenting with early breast cancer are influenced by treatment decisions. In Malaysia, survival outcome is generally poor due to late presentation. Of those who present early, many refuse treatment for complementary therapy.
    OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to explore the decision making experiences of women with early breast cancer.
    MATERIALS AND METHODS: A qualitative study using individual in-depth interviews was conducted to capture the decision making process of women with early breast cancer in Malaysia. We used purposive sampling to recruit women yet to undergo surgical treatment. A total of eight participants consented and were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. These women were recruited from a period of one week after they were informed of their diagnoses. A topic guide, based on the Ottawa decision support framework (ODSF), was used to facilitate the interviews, which were audio recorded, transcribed and analysed using a thematic approach.
    RESULTS: We identified four phases in the decision-making process of women with early breast cancer: discovery (pre-diagnosis); confirmatory ('receiving bad news'); deliberation; and decision (making a decision). These phases ranged from when women first discovered abnormalities in their breasts to them making final surgical treatment decisions. Information was vital in guiding these women. Support from family members, friends, healthcare professionals as well as survivors also has an influencing role. However, the final say on treatment decision was from themselves.
    CONCLUSIONS: The treatment decision for women with early breast cancer in Malaysia is a result of information they gather on their decision making journey. This journey starts with diagnosis. The women's spouses, friends, family members and healthcare professionals play different roles as information providers and supporters at different stages of treatment decisions. However, the final treatment decision is influenced mainly by women's own experiences, knowledge and understanding.
    Study site: Breast surgical units, Klang Valley, Malaysia
  2. Hock LK, Ghazali SM, Cheong KC, Kuay LK, Li LH, Ying CY, et al.
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2013;14(11):6971-8.
    PMID: 24377635
    BACKGROUND: Smoking among adolescents has been linked to a variety of adverse and long term health consequences. "Susceptibility to smoking" or the lack of cognitive commitment to abstain from smoking is an important predictor of adolescent smoking. In 2008, we conducted a study to determine the psycho-sociological factors associated with susceptibility to smoking among secondary school students in the district of Kota Tinggi, Johor.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two thousand seven hundred students were randomly selected by proportional stratified sampling. Analyses on 1,736 non-smoking students revealed that prevalence of adolescents susceptible to smoking was 16.3%.

    RESULTS: Male gender (aOR=2.05, 95%CI= 1.23-3.39), poor academic achievement (aOR 1.60, 95%CI 1.05-2.44), ever-smoker (aOR 2.17, 95%CI 1.37-3.44) and having a smoking friend (aOR 1.76, 95%CI 1.10-2.83) were associated with susceptibility to smoking, while having the perception that smoking prohibition in school was strictly enforced (aOR 0.55, 95%CI 0.32-0.94), and had never seen friends smoking in a school compound (aOR 0.59, 95%CI 0.37-0.96) were considered protective factors

    CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that follow-up programmes need to capitalise on the modifiable factors related to susceptibility to smoking by getting all stakeholders to be actively involved to stamp out smoking initiation among adolescents.

  3. Norsa'adah B, Nurhazalini-Zayani CG
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2013;14(11):6955-9.
    PMID: 24377632
    The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is relatively high in Southeast Asia. Globally, HCC has a high fatality rate and short survival. The objectives of this retrospective cohort study were to review the epidemiology and survival of HCC patients at a tertiary centre in north-east of Peninsular Malaysia. Subjects were adult HCC patients diagnosed by histopathology or radio-imaging. Secondary liver carcinoma was excluded. Kaplan Meier and multiple Cox proportional hazard survival analyses were used. Only 210 HCC cases from years 1987-2008, were included in the final analysis. The number of cases was increasing annually. The mean age was 55.0 (SD 13.9) years with male:female ratio of 3.7:1. Approximately 57.6% had positive hepatitis B virus, 2.4% hepatitis C virus, 20% liver cirrhosis and 8.1% chronic liver disease. Only 2.9% had family history and 9.0% had frequently consumed alcohol. Most patients presented with abdominal pain or discomfort and had hepatomegaly, 47.9% had an elevated α-fetoprotein level of 800 IU/ml or more, 51.9% had multiple tumors and 44.8% involved multiple liver lobes. Approximately 63.3% were in stage 3 and 23.4% in stage 4, and 82.9% did not receive any treatment. The overall median survival time was 1.9 months (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.5, 2.3). The 1-month, 6-month, 1-year and 2-year survival rates were 71.8%, 23.3%, 13.0% and 7.3% respectively. Significant prognostic factors were Malay ethnicity [Adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) 1.6; 95%CI: 1.0, 2.5; p=0.030], no chemotherapy [AHR 1.7; 95%CI: 1.1, 2.5; p=0.017] and Child-Pugh class C [AHR 2.6; 95%CI: 1.4, 4.9; p=0.002]. HCC in our study affected a wide age range, mostly male, in advanced stage of disease, with no treatment and very low survival rates. Primary prevention should be advocated in view of late presentation and difficulty of treatment. Vaccination of hepatitis virus and avoidance of liver toxins are to be encouraged.
  4. Abidin EZ, Hashim Z, Semple S
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2013;14(11):6845-50.
    PMID: 24377615
    BACKGROUND: This study was performed to gather data on second-hand smoke (SHS) concentrations in a range of public venues following the implementation of partial Smoke-Free Legislation in Malaysia in 2004.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: PM2.5 was measured as a marker of SHS levels in a total of 61 restaurants, entertainment centres, internet cafes and pubs in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    RESULTS: Under the current smoke-free laws smoking was prohibited in 42 of the 61 premises. Active smoking was observed in nearly one-third (n=12) of these. For premises where smoking was prohibited and no active smoking observed, the mean (standard deviation) indoor PM2.5 concentration was 33.4 (23.8) μg/m3 compared to 187.1 (135.1) μg/m3 in premises where smoking was observed The highest mean PM2.5 was observed in pubs [361.5 (199.3) μg/m3].

    CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence of high levels of SHS across a range of hospitality venues, including about one-third of those where smoking is prohibited, despite 8 years of smoke-free legislation. Compliance with the legislation appeared to be particularly poor in entertainment centres and internet cafes. Workers and non-smoking patrons continue to be exposed to high concentrations of SHS within the hospitality industry in Malaysia and there is an urgent need for increased enforcement of existing legislation and consideration of more comprehensive laws to protect health.

  5. Al-Jamal HA, Jusoh SA, Yong AC, Asan JM, Hassan R, Johan MF
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2014;15(11):4555-61.
    PMID: 24969884
    BACKGROUND: Silencing due to methylation of suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 (SOCS-3), a negative regulator gene for the JAK/STAT signaling pathway has been reported to play important roles in leukemogenesis. Imatinib mesylate is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that specifically targets the BCR-ABL protein and induces hematological remission in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Unfortunately, the majority of CML patients treated with imatinib develop resistance under prolonged therapy. We here investigated the methylation profile of SOCS-3 gene and its downstream effects in a BCR-ABL positive CML cells resistant to imatinib.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: BCR-ABL positive CML cells resistant to imatinib (K562-R) were developed by overexposure of K562 cell lines to the drug. Cytotoxicity was determined by MTS assays and IC50 values calculated. Apoptosis assays were performed using annexin V-FITC binding assays and analyzed by flow cytometry. Methylation profiles were investigated using methylation specific PCR and sequencing analysis of SOCS-1 and SOCS-3 genes. Gene expression was assessed by quantitative real-time PCR, and protein expression and phosphorylation of STAT1, 2 and 3 were examined by Western blotting.

    RESULTS: The IC50 for imatinib on K562 was 362 nM compared to 3,952 nM for K562-R (p=0.001). Percentage of apoptotic cells in K562 increased upto 50% by increasing the concentration of imatinib, in contrast to only 20% in K562-R (p<0.001). A change from non-methylation of the SOCS-3 gene in K562 to complete methylation in K562-R was observed. Gene expression revealed down- regulation of both SOCS-1 and SOCS-3 genes in resistant cells. STAT3 was phosphorylated in K562-R but not K562.

    CONCLUSIONS: Development of cells resistant to imatinib is feasible by overexposure of the drug to the cells. Activation of STAT3 protein leads to uncontrolled cell proliferation in imatinib resistant BCR-ABL due to DNA methylation of the SOCS-3 gene. Thus SOCS-3 provides a suitable candidate for mechanisms underlying the development of imatinib resistant in CML patients.

  6. Hakim L, Alias E, Makpol S, Ngah WZ, Morad NA, Yusof YA
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2014;15(11):4651-7.
    PMID: 24969899
    The development of chemopreventive approaches using a concoction of phytochemicals is potentially viable for combating many types of cancer including colon carcinogenesis. This study evaluated the anti-proliferative effects of ginger and Gelam honey and its efficacy in enhancing the anti-cancer effects of 5-FU (5-fluorouracil) against a colorectal cancer cell line, HCT 116. Cell viability was measured via MTS (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2- yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulphenyl)-2H-tetrazolium) assay showing ginger inhibiting the growth of HCT 116 cells more potently (IC50 of 3mg/mL) in comparison to Gelam honey (IC50 of 75 mg/mL). Combined treatment of the two compounds (3mg/mL ginger+75 mg/mL Gelam honey) synergistically lowered the IC50 of Gelam honey to 22 mg/mL. Combination with 35 mg/mL Gelam honey markedly enhanced 5-FU inhibiting effects on the growth of HCT 116 cells. Subsequent analysis on the induction of cellular apoptosis suggested that individual treatment of ginger and Gelam honey produced higher apoptosis than 5-FU alone. In addition, treatment with the combination of two natural compounds increased the apoptotic rate of HCT 116 cells dose- dependently while treatment of either ginger or Gelam honey combined with 5-FU only showed modest changes. Combination index analysis showed the combination effect of both natural compounds to be synergistic in their inhibitory action against HCT 116 colon cancer cells (CI 0.96 < 1). In conclusion, combined treatment of Gelam honey and ginger extract could potentially enhance the chemotherapeutic effect of 5-FU against colorectal cancer.
  7. Haris K, Ismail S, Idris Z, Abdullah JM, Yusoff AA
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2014;15(11):4499-505.
    PMID: 24969876
    Glioblastoma, the most aggressive and malignant form of glioma, appears to be resistant to various chemotherapeutic agents. Hence, approaches have been intensively investigated to targeti specific molecular pathways involved in glioblastoma development and progression. Aloe emodin is believed to modulate the expression of several genes in cancer cells. We aimed to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effect of Aloe emodin on gene expression profiles in the human U87 glioblastoma cell line utilizing microarray technology. The gene expression analysis revealed that a total of 8,226 gene alterations out of 28,869 genes were detected after treatment with 58.6 μg/ml for 24 hours. Out of this total, 34 genes demonstrated statistically significant change (p<0.05) ranging from 1.07 to 1.87 fold. The results revealed that 22 genes were up-regulated and 12 genes were down-regulated in response to Aloe emodin treatment. These genes were then grouped into several clusters based on their biological functions, revealing induction of expression of genes involved in apoptosis (programmed cell death) and tissue remodelling in U87 cells (p<0.01). Several genes with significant changes of the expression level e.g. SHARPIN, BCAP31, FIS1, RAC1 and TGM2 from the apoptotic cluster were confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). These results could serve as guidance for further studies in order to discover molecular targets for the cancer therapy based on Aloe emodin treatment.
  8. Liam CK, Leow HR, How SH, Pang YK, Chua KT, Lim BK, et al.
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2014;15(1):321-6.
    PMID: 24528049
    BACKGROUND: Mutations in the tyrosine kinase domain of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in non- small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are predictive of response to EGFR-targeted therapy in advanced stages of disease. This study aimed to determine the frequency of EGFR mutations in NSCLCs and to correlate their presence with clinical characteristics in multiethnic Malaysian patients.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this prospective study, EGFR mutations in exons 18, 19, 20 and 21 in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded biopsy specimens of consecutive NSCLC patients were asessed by real-time polymerase chain reaction.

    RESULTS: EGFR mutations were detected in NSCLCs from 55 (36.4%) of a total of 151 patients, being significantly more common in females (62.5%) than in males (17.2%) [odds ratio (OR), 8.00; 95% confidence interval (CI), 3.77-16.98; p<0.001] and in never smokers (62.5%) than in ever smokers (12.7%) (OR, 11.50; 95%CI, 5.08-26.03; p<0.001). Mutations were more common in adenocarcinoma (39.4%) compared to non-adenocarcinoma NSCLCs (15.8%) (p=0.072). The mutation rates in patients of different ethnicities were not significantly different (p=0.08). Never smoking status was the only clinical feature that independently predicted the presence of EGFR mutations (adjusted OR, 5.94; 95%CI, 1.94- 18.17; p=0.002).

    CONCLUSIONS: In Malaysian patients with NSCLC, the EGFR mutation rate was similar to that in other Asian populations. EGFR mutations were significantly more common in female patients and in never smokers. Never smoking status was the only independent predictor for the presence of EGFR mutations.

  9. Yaw YH, Shariff ZM, Kandiah M, Weay YH, Saibul N, Sariman S, et al.
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2014;15(1):39-44.
    PMID: 24528062
    BACKGROUND: This study aimed to provide an overview of lifestyle changes after breast cancer diagnosis and to examine the relationship between dietary and physical activity changes with weight changes in breast cancer patients. Women with breast carcinomas (n=368) were recruited from eight hospitals and four breast cancer support groups in peninsular Malaysia. Dietary and physical activity changes were measured from a year preceding breast cancer diagnosis to study entry. Mean duration since diagnosis was 4.86±3.46 years. Dietary changes showed that majority of the respondents had decreased their intake of high fat foods (18.8-65.5%), added fat foods (28.3-48.9%), low fat foods (46.8-80.7%), red meat (39.7%), pork and poultry (20.1-39.7%) and high sugar foods (42.1-60.9%) but increased their intake of fish (42.7%), fruits and vegetables (62.8%) and whole grains (28.5%). Intake of other food groups remained unchanged. Only a small percentage of the women (22.6%) had increased their physical activity since diagnosis where most of them (16.0%) had increased recreational activities. Age at diagnosis (β= -0.20, p= 0.001), and change in whole grain (β= -0.15, p= 0.003) and fish intakes (β= 0.13, p= 0.013) were associated with weight changes after breast cancer diagnosis. In summary, the majority of the women with breast cancer had changed their diets to a healthier one. However, many did not increase their physical activity levels which could improve their health and lower risk of breast cancer recurrence.
  10. Mohammadi S, Sulaiman S, Koon PB, Amani R, Hosseini SM
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2013;14(12):7749-55.
    PMID: 24460363
    Nutritional status and dietary intake play a significant role in the prognosis of breast cancer and may modify the progression of disease. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of nutritional status on the quality of life of Iranian breast cancer survivors. Cross-sectional data were collected for 100 Iranian breast cancer survivors, aged 32 to 61 years, attending the oncology outpatient clinic at Golestan Hospital, Ahvaz, Iran. Nutritional status of subjects was assessed by anthropometric measurements, Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA) and three non-consecutive 24-hour diet recalls. The European Organization of Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life form (EORTC QLQ-C30) was used to assess quality of life. Ninety-four percent of the survivors were well-nourished, 6% were moderately malnourished or suspected of being malnourished while none were severely malnourished. Prevalence of overweight and obesity was 86%. Overall, participants had an inadequate intake of vitamin D, E, iron and magnesium according to dietary reference intake (DRI) recommendations. Survivors with better nutritional status had better functioning scales and experienced fewer clinical symptoms. It appears important to provide educational and nutritional screening programs to improve cancer survivor quality of life.
  11. Yap NY, Ng KL, Ong TA, Pailoor J, Gobe GC, Ooi CC, et al.
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2013;14(12):7497-500.
    PMID: 24460324
    BACKGROUND: This study concerns clinical characteristics and survival of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients in University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), as well as the prognostic significance of presenting symptoms.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: The clinical characteristics, presenting symptoms and survival of RCC patients (n=151) treated at UMMC from 2003-2012 were analysed. Symptoms evaluated were macrohaematuria, flank pain, palpable abdominal mass, fever, lethargy, loss of weight, anaemia, elevated ALP, hypoalbuminemia and thrombocytosis. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses were performed to determine the prognostic significance of these presenting symptoms. Kaplan Meier and log rank tests were employed for survival analysis.

    RESULTS: The 2002 TNM staging was a prognostic factor (p<0.001) but Fuhrman grading was not significantly correlated with survival (p=0.088). At presentation, 76.8% of the patients were symptomatic. Generally, symptomatic tumours had a worse survival prognosis compared to asymptomatic cases (p=0.009; HR 4.74). All symptoms significantly affect disease specific survival except frank haematuria and loin pain on univariate Cox regression analysis. On multivariate analysis adjusted for stage, only clinically palpable abdominal mass remained statistically significant (p=0.027). The mean tumour size of palpable abdominal masses, 9.5±4.3cm, was larger than non palpable masses, 5.3±2.7cm (p<0.001).

    CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report which includes survival information of RCC patients from Malaysia. Here the TNM stage and a palpable abdominal mass were independent predictors for survival. Further investigations using a multicentre cohort to analyse mortality and survival rates may aid in improving management of these patients.

  12. Baskaran P, Subramanian P, Rahman RA, Ping WL, Mohd Taib NA, Rosli R
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2013;14(12):7693-9.
    PMID: 24460355
    AIMS: A main reason for increasing incidence of cervical cancer worldwide is the lack of regular cervical cancer screening. Coverage and uptake remain major challenges and it is crucial to determine the perceived susceptibility to cervical cancer, as well as the benefits of, and barriers to, cervical cancer screening among women.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 369 women attending an outpatient centre in Malaysia and data were collected by administering a self-report questionnaire.

    RESULTS: The majority of the participants (265, 71.8%) showed good level of perception of their susceptibility to cervical cancer. Almost all responded positively to four statements about the perceived benefits of cervical cancer screening (agree, 23.1% or strongly agree, 52.5%), whereas negative responses were received from most of the participants (agree, 29.9%or strongly agree, 14.6 %) about the eleven statements on perceived barriers. Significant associations were observed between age and perceived susceptibility(x2=9.030, p=0.029); between employment status (p<0.001) as well as ethnicity and perceived benefits (p<0.05 [P=0.003]); and between education and perceived barriers to cervical cancer screening (p<0.001).

    CONCLUSIONS: Perceived susceptibility, including knowledge levels and personal risk assessment, should be emphasized through education and awareness campaigns to improve uptake of cervical cancer screening in Malaysia.
  13. Norlaili AA, Fatihah MA, Daliana NF, Maznah D
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2013;14(12):7161-4.
    PMID: 24460269
    Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women globally. This study was conducted to compare the awareness of breast cancer and the practice of breast self-examination (BSE), clinical breast examination (CBE) and mammography screening among rural females in Pahang and Perak. A cross-sectional study was carried out in five selected rural districts of Pahang and Perak. Two hundred and fifty households were randomly selected and interviewed face to face using a semi-structured questionnaire. The majority of residents from both states were Malay, aged between 50 and 60 years and had a secondary level of education. Malay women aged 40-49 years and women with a higher level of education were significantly more aware of breast cancer (p<0.05). About half of these women practiced BSE (60.7%) and CBE (56.1%), and 7% had underwent mammography screening. The results of this study suggest that women in Pahang and Perak have good awareness of breast cancer and that more than half practice BSE and CBE. The women's level of education appears to contribute to their level of knowledge and health behaviour. However, more effort is needed to encourage all women in rural areas to acquire further knowledge on breast cancer.
  14. Keat CH, Ghani NA
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2013;14(12):7701-6.
    PMID: 24460356
    BACKGROUND: In a prospective cohort study of antiemetic therapy conducted in Malaysia, a total of 94 patients received low emetogenic chemotherapy (LEC) with or without granisetron injections as the primary prophylaxis for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). This study is a retrospective cost analysis of two antiemetic regimens from the payer perspective.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cost evaluation refers to 2011, the year in which the observation was conducted. Direct costs incurred by hospitals including the drug acquisition, materials and time spent for clinical activities from prescribing to dispensing of home medications were evaluated (MYR 1=$0.32 USD). As reported to be significantly different between two regimens (96.1% vs 81.0%; p=0.017), the complete response rate of acute emesis which was defined as a patient successfully treated without any emesis episode within 24 hours after LEC was used as the main indicator for effectiveness.

    RESULTS: Antiemetic drug acquisition cost per patient was 40.7 times higher for the granisetron-based regimen than for the standard regimen (MYR 64.3 vs 1.58). When both the costs for materials and clinical activities were included, the total cost per patient was 8.68 times higher for the granisetron-based regimen (MYR 73.5 vs 8.47). Considering the complete response rates, the mean cost per successfully treated patient in granisetron group was 7.31 times higher (MYR 76.5 vs 10.5). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) with granisetron-based regimen, relative to the standard regimen, was MYR 430.7. It was found to be most sensitive to the change of antiemetic effects of granisetron-based regimen.

    CONCLUSIONS: While providing a better efficacy in acute emesis control, the low incidence of acute emesis and high ICER makes use of granisetron as primary prophylaxis in LEC controversial.

  15. Saleh A, Kong YH, Vengu N, Badrudeen H, Zain RB, Cheong SC
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2014;15(1):229-37.
    PMID: 24528031
    BACKGROUND: Dentists are typically the first professionals who are approached to treat ailments within the oral cavity. Therefore they should be well-equipped in detecting suspicious lesions during routine clinical practice. This study determined the levels of knowledge on early signs and risk factors associated with oral cancer and identified which factors influenced dentist participation in prevention and early detection of oral cancer.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: A survey on dentists' knowledge and their practices in prevention and early detection of oral cancer was conducted using a 26-item self-administered questionnaire.

    RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: A response rate of 41.7% was achieved. The level of knowledge on early signs and risk habits associated with oral cancer was high and the majority reported to have conducted opportunistic screening and advised patients on risk habit cessation. Factors that influenced the dentist in practising prevention and early detection of oral cancer were continuous education on oral cancer, age, nature of practice and recent graduation. Notably, dentists were receptive to further training in the area of oral cancer detection and cessation of risk habits. Taken together, the study demonstrated that the dental clinic is a good avenue to conduct programs on opportunistic screening, and continuous education in these areas is necessary to adequately equip dentists in running these programs. Further, this study also highlighted knowledge deficits and practice shortcomings which will help in planning and developing programs that further encourage better participation of dentists in prevention and early detection of oral cancer.

  16. Abdul Rashid RM, Mohamed M, Hamid ZA, Dahlui M
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2013;14(10):5901-4.
    PMID: 24289597
    OBJECTIVE: To compare the effectiveness of different methods of recall for repeat Pap smear among women who had normal smears in the previous screening.
    DESIGN: Prospective randomized controlled study.
    SETTING: All community clinics in Klang under the Ministry of Health Malaysia.
    PARTICIPANTS: Women of Klang who attended cervical screening and had a normal Pap smear in the previous year, and were due for a repeat smear were recruited and randomly assigned to four different methods of recall for repeat smear.
    INTERVENTION: The recall methods given to the women to remind them for a repeat smear were either by postal letter, registered letter, short message by phone (SMS) or phone call.
    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Number and percentage of women who responded to the recall within 8 weeks after they had received the recall, irrespective whether they had Pap test conducted. Also the numbers of women in each recall method that came for repeat Pap smear.
    RESULTS: The rates of recall messages reaching the women when using letter, registered letter, SMS and phone calls were 79%, 87%, 66% and 68%, respectively. However, the positive responses to recall by letter, registered letter, phone messages and telephone call were 23.9%, 23.0%, 32.9% and 50.9%, respectively (p<0.05). Furthermore, more women who received recall by phone call had been screened (p<0.05) compared to those who received recall by postal letter (OR=2.38, CI=1.56-3.62).
    CONCLUSION: Both the usual way of sending letters and registered letters had higher chances of reaching patients compared to using phone either for sending messages or calling. The response to the recall method and uptake of repeat smear, however, were highest via phone call, indicating the importance of direct communication.
    Study site: Klinik Kesihatan, Kelang, Selangor, Malaysia
  17. Abdul Rashid RM, Dahlui M
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2013;14(10):5867-70.
    PMID: 24289591
    BACKGROUND: Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among Malaysian women with an ASR of 17.9 and a mortality rate of 5.6 per 100,000 population in 2008 (GLOBOCAN, 2008). The 5 year prevalence was estimated to be 14.5 per 100,000 population. As the second most common cancer affecting productive females, cervical cancer imposes an impact to the socioeconomic aspect of the country. However, the poor uptake of cervical cancer screening is a major problem in detecting early pre-cancerous lesions and thus, delay in initiating treatment for cervical cancer. Realizing the urgency to increase the uptake of PAP smear, besides enhancing the promotion of PAP smear screening for women above 35 years old, the call-recall system for pap smear screening had been piloted in one of the suburban districts which aimed to improve regular participation of women for cervical and breast cancer screening. This is of public health importance as identifying the best feasible option to increase patient's respond to participate in the screening program effectively in our setting will be helpful in implementing an organized regular population based screening program tailored to our setting. The pilot program of cervical cancer screening in Klang was an opportunity to assess different options in recalling patients for a repeat pap smear to increase their participation and adherence to the program.

    METHODS AND RESULTS: This was a population based randomized control trial. Women aged 20-65 years in the population that matched the inclusion and exclusion criteria were re-called for a repeat smear. There are four different intervention groups; letter, registered letters, short messages services (SMS) and phone calls where 250 subjects were recruited into each group. Samples were generated randomly from the same population in Klang into four different groups. The first group received a recall letter for a repeat smear similar to the one that has been given during the first invitation. The intervention groups were either be given a registered letter, an SMS or a phone call to re-call them. The socio-demographic data of the patients who came for uptake were collected for further analysis. All the groups were followed up after 8 weeks to assess their compliance to the recall.

    CONCLUSIONS: The study will provide recommendations about the most effective methods for recall in a population based pap smear screening program on two outcomes: i) patients response; ii) uptake for repeat pap smear.

  18. Lachumy SJ, Oon CE, Deivanai S, Saravanan D, Vijayarathna S, Choong YS, et al.
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2013;14(10):5553-65.
    PMID: 24289545
    Plants play important roles in human life not only as suppliers of oxygen but also as a fundamental resource to sustain the human race on this earthly plane. Plants also play a major role in our nutrition by converting energy from the sun during photosynthesis. In addition, plants have been used extensively in traditional medicine since time immemorial. Information in the biomedical literature has indicated that many natural herbs have been investigated for their efficacy against lethal irradiation. Pharmacological studies by various groups of investigators have shown that natural herbs possess significant radioprotective activity. In view of the immense medicinal importance of natural product based radioprotective agents, this review aims at compiling all currently available information on radioprotective agents from medicinal plants and herbs, especially the evaluation methods and mechanisms of action. In this review we particularly emphasize on ethnomedicinal uses, botany, phytochemistry, mechanisms of action and toxicology. We also describe modern techniques for evaluating herbal samples as radioprotective agents. The usage of herbal remedies for combating lethal irradiation is a green anti- irradiation approach for the betterment of human beings without high cost, side effects and toxicity.
  19. Pandurangan AK, Esa NM
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2013;14(10):5543-52.
    PMID: 24289544
    Colorectal cancer (CRC), a complex multi-step process involving progressive disruption of homeostatic mechanisms controlling intestinal epithelial proliferation/inflammation, differentiation, and programmed cell death, is the third most common malignant neoplasm worldwide. A number of promising targets such as inducible nitric acid (iNOS), cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), Wnt/β-catenin, Notch and apoptotic signaling have been identified by researchers as useful targets to prevent or therapeutically inhibit colon cancer development. In this review article, we aimed to explore the current targets available to eliminate colon cancer with an update of dietary and non-nutritional compounds that could be of potential use for interaction with regulatory molecules to prevent CRC.
  20. Asmaa MJ, Al-Jamal HA, Ang CY, Asan JM, Seeni A, Johan MF
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2014;15(1):475-81.
    PMID: 24528077
    BACKGROUND: Pereskia sacharosa is a genus of cacti widely used in folk medicine for cancer-related treatment. Anti-proliferative effects have been studied in recent years against colon, breast, cervical and lung cancer cell lines, with promising results. We here extended study of anti-proliferative effects to a blood malignancy, leukemia.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two leukemic cell lines, MV4-11 (acute myeloid leukemia) and K562 (chronic myeloid leukemia), were studied. IC50 concentrations were determined and apoptosis and cell cycle regulation were studied by flow cytometric analysis. The expression of apoptosis and cell-cycle related regulatory proteins was assessed by Western blotting.

    RESULTS: P sacharosa inhibited growth of MV4-11 and K562 cells in a dose-dependent manner. The mode of cell death was via induction of intrinsic apoptotic pathways and cell cycle arrest. There was profound up-regulation of cytochrome c, caspases, p21 and p53 expression and repression of Akt and Bcl-2 expression in treated cells.

    CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that P sacharosa induces leukemic cell death via apoptosis induction and changes in cell cycle checkpoint, thus deserves further study for anti-leukemic potential.

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