Cancer In Malaysia: Facts and Figures


  1. According to estimates, there are about 90-100,000 people in Malaysia living with cancer at any one time.

  2. The National Cancer Registry of Malaysia (NCR) records 21,773 Malaysians being diagnosed with cancer but estimates that almost 10,000 cases are unregistered every year.

  3. It is estimated that one in four Malaysians (1:4) will develop cancer by 75 years old.

  4. Increasing population and longer life spans contributes to rise of cancer. Less than 10% of cancers happen in children compared to over 50% in men and 35% in women aged 50 and above.

  5. Cancer occurs more in females than males with a ratio of male to female 1:1.2

  6. The cancer incidence out of 100,000 people are:

    • 4,058 Malay males and 4,753 Malay females are diagnosed with cancer

    • 4,078 Chinese males and 4,422 Chinese females are diagnosed with cancer

    • 629 Indian males and 1065 Indian females are diagnosed with cancer

cancer statistics malaysia

The top 5 cancers affecting both male and female in Malaysia are:

  1. Breast

  2. Colorectal (bowel)

  3. Lung

  4. Cervical

  5. Nasopharyngeal

  • Although cancer is considered the 3rd leading cause of premature death in Malaysia, it has been found that only 30-40% of all deaths occuring due to cancer are medically certified - thus meaning that there is no exact number to show that people are dying from cancer mainly.

  • Findings show that 10.3% of Malaysians are at a risk of dying from cancer before the age of 75. (Globocan, 2008)

  • Cancer is slowly becoming a leading cause of death - avoidable risk factors such as tobacco and smoking, alcohol, poor diet, poor lifestyle, inadequate exercise or being overweight contribute to this.

  • It is estimated that nearly 40% of all cancers are preventable, including lung, colorectal, and cervical cancers, with smaller effects in breast and nasopharyngeal cancer.

  • Improvement in early detection and treatment leads to better survival rates for people with cancer.

Content credit: National Cancer Society Malaysia 

by Qian

Qian's interest in healthcare industry came about after her father was diagnosed with bladder cancer. This experience has led her to become a strong believer in empowering individuals to take charge of their own health. View all articles by Qian.


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