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Don’t give up, appreciate health- Cancer survivor


KUALA LUMPUR: As cliche as it may sound, ‘Don’t give up’ is probably the only phrase a cancer fighter needs to hear – over and over again – to remain positive and stay focused in their battle against cancer.

This is proof in the case of 37-year-old Dr Aizan Sofia Amin, who lost a leg at the age of 16 after being diagnosed with bone cancer in 1997.

The senior lecturer at the Psychology and Human Well-Being Research Centre, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), said just like a mantra, the phrase ‘Don’t give up’ could also help cancer fighters to remain mentally strong even when they are physically not, especially during chemotherapy.


“Living under the chemo regimen is very painful, but cancer is not a death sentence. Anyone who is fighting cancer must, first and foremost, have strong willpower and determination to win the battle.

“If they surrender, even at the earliest stage, no magic medicine or modern treatment can help them win the battle,” she told Bernama in conjunction with the World Cancer Day marked on Feb 4 to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment, among individuals, families and communities.

Dr Aizan Sofia also advised cancer fighters not to abandon their therapies and treatments and to seek doctor’s advice first if they want to opt for an alternative treatment.

The recipient of Tokoh Pekerja (OKU) Negara award in conjunction with Labour Day celebration last year, also called on all members of the public to take note of their health condition and to get proper health examination if they discovered any alarming changes in their body.

“Be aware of the changes in your body, don’t delay in getting health examination. The earlier we get our health examined, the quicker we can find out whether we have cancer or not. If we are scared even to get our health examined, we are giving cancer the opportunity to grow,” she said.

While advising the general public to appreciate health, to live a healthy lifestyle and to reduce stress in their daily life, Dr Aizan Sofia, who is also a volunteer with the National Cancer Council, also called on family members and close friends of cancer patients to be more sensitive in their choice of words so as not to hurt the feelings of the patients.

“Cancer patient’s feelings and emotions are quite fragile, give them support, don’t leave them out and don’t show your sad face to them. More importantly, don’t kill their fighting spirit,” she added.

On Jan 3, it was reported that the number of new cancer cases had increased to 115,238 for the period of 2012-2016, from only 103,507 cases recorded in 2007-2011.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah was also reported as saying that the incident of cancer in Malaysia stood at 86 cases in every 100,000 male population, and 102 cases in every 100,000 female population.

Ten most common cancer detected among Malaysians between 2012 and 2016 were breast, colorectal, lungs, lymphoma,  nasopharynx, leukaemia, prostate, liver, cervical and ovarian cancer.