Tuesday, September 26, 2023 | 13:49 WIB

United in cancer prevention


Jakarta, IO – The WHO 2020 records show that a total of 10 million deaths in the world per year are from cancer, and that 70% of them occur in developing countries, including Indonesia. According to Globocan 2020 data, just in Indonesia the number of new breast cancer cases is 68,858 cases (16.6%) out of a total of 396,914 new cancer cases, with an annual death rate of more than 22,000. The second most prevalent neoplasm is cervical cancer, with 36,633 new cases a year or 9.2% of the total. 

“There were 11,000 new cancer cases among children annually, the most prevalent one being leukemia. In terms of health social security, cancer is the second most catastrophic disease, one that requires an expenditure of IDR 3.5 trillion of a budget a year. This is painful, as 30%-50% of cancer cases are preventable by avoiding risk factors and performing checks regularly to ensure early detection,” declared Dr. Eva Susanti, S.Kp., M.Kes, Ministry of Health Director of the Prevention and Control of Incommunicable Diseases, in the “United in Word and Deed: Let’s Prevent Cancer” live Instagram session, Monday (13/2/2023). 

Dr. Eva went on to expound on the need of massive community education, as well as strengthening the contribution of all community sectors in treating cancer. “The purpose is to narrow the gap in the scope of cancer treatment among patients. Checks for early detection can be performed in community health centers, clinics, before further, advanced checks in referral hospitals. However, only 12% of the total target cancer patients come to community health centers for USG and mammography for breast cancer detection, or for visual inspections with acetic acid (“VIA”) for cervical cancer. The usual excuse is because they are ‘reluctant’ or ‘they don’t have a complaint yet’, which is exasperating and dangerous because by the time symptoms appear, it’s usually too late,” she sighed. 

The CERDIK Method 

At the same event, dr. Reisa Broto Asmoro, Ministry of Health Ambassador for New Health Habits, revealed that cancer patients require a strong support system to help them deal with the side effects and aftermath of treatments. “The presence of family really helps cancer patients to get better, because 80%-90% of them only come when they are already at a late stage and the effects of the treatment on the body are harsh. This is a shame, because breast cancer can be detected using a self-breast check method (pemeriksaan payudara sendiri “Sadari”), as well as a clinical breast check (pemeriksaan payudara secara klinis – “Sadanis”) method at their closest local health facilities, within 7-10 days after menstruation,” she declared. 

Read: Close the care gap for breast cancer

In cancer, as in all diseases, prevention is always better than cure. “Other than routine monitoring to for early detection of the disease, we should also implement the Ministry of Health’s CERDIK method. It is the optimal method to prevent the onset of diseases, especially if you have risk factors,” dr. Reisa said. “CERDIK is ‘Cek kesehatan secara berkala, Enyahkan asap rokok, Rajin olahraga 150 menit per minggu, Diet gizi seimbang, Istirahat cukup, dan Kelola stres’ (‘check your health regularly, eliminate cigarette smoke, routinely perform physical exercise for 150 minutes a week, maintain a balanced diet, get sufficient rest, and manage stress’). Keep most diseases at bay by maintaining a body mass index of 18.5 to 24.9, maintain your stomach girth at a maximum of 80 cm for women and 90 cm for men, and keep your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels within a normal range.” (est)


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