Cancer is undeniably one of the most important non-communicable diseases in Malaysia and contributed to 13.56% of all deaths occurred in the Ministry of Health Hospitals in 2015. It was the third most common cause of death following the death caused by diseases of circulatory system (22.77%) and diseases of the respiratory system (18.54%).
Recent publication on cancer registration for Malaysia is the Malaysian National Cancer Registry Report 2007-2011, which was published by National Cancer Institute on it’s website www.nci.moh.gov.my in October, 2016.
As reported by the MNCR 2007-2011, a total number of 103,507 new cancer cases were diagnosed in Malaysia during the period of 2007 to 2011, of which 46,794 (45.2%) were reported in males and 56,713 (54.8%) in females. As stated in the report the risk of males getting cancer was 1 in 10 and for females was 1 in 9.
The five most common cancers among males were cancers of the colorectum (16.3%), lung (15.8%), nasopharynx (8.1%), lymphoma (6.8%) and prostate (6.7%). Among females, the five most common were cancers of the breast (32.1%), colorectum (10.7%), cervix uteri (7.7%), ovary (6.1%) and lung (5.6%).
The next MNCR report will be for the data of 2012-2014. The registry is now in the process of completing the collection of these data. Currently, the registry depends on the voluntary and manual data notification. The notified new cancer cases will then be verified and coded accordingly before being entered into the data base. Data search at the medical record offices are also being carried out to ensure that the data collection for all new cancer cases are complete and included in the registry. Understandably, this complex and laborious process in completing the data collection and data verification will require a lot of time and effort before it can be ready for analysis and to produce a credible report.
As a way forward, The Malaysian Cancer Registry is moving towards automation of cancer notifications. Electronic data collection for cancer will be the key to more efficient and effective management of data for the future. This is why efforts and steps has been taken where a system called Patient Registry Information System (PRIS) is developed by Health Informatics Centre (HIC), Ministry of Health Malaysia and will be rolled out soon. PRIS is a web application whereby, data can be registered electronically and eventually flows into the Malaysia Health Data Warehouse (MyHDW). This system is expected to assist faster data collection and will ease publication of registry’s report.
DATUK DR. NOOR HISHAM ABDULLAH
Director General of Health Malaysia
25th November 2016