Thursday, December 17, 2009

No-meat, no-sex myths about cancer patients

No-meat, no-sex myths about cancer patients
Dec 03, 2009
New Straits Times

By Annie Freeda Cruez

KUALA LUMPUR - Who says cancer patients cannot include sugar in their drinks, eat meat or take rice for lunch or dinner?

There are also some who say that patients cannot have sex and should not be touched as "cancer is infectious".

According to Dr Albert Lim of the Malaysian Oncology Society (MOS), these are common myths that needed to be debunked.

"I ask them (people who spread these myths), how do you fight cancer if the patient does not have proper nutrition?" he said at the launching of Hope, a second handbook for cancer caregivers.

The book provides comprehensive information on the dos and don'ts involving cancer patients, dispelling many of the common misconceptions and fallacies surrounding cancer care.

The book includes educational articles on cancer and programmes for healthcare professionals.

The Hope project was also aimed at providing accurate information relating to cancer to help patients, caregivers, the public and healthcare professionals make informed decisions about screening, early detection and treatment of cancer.

Pfizer (M) Sdn Bhd managing director, Ahmet Genel, said the project was part of the company's commitment to playing an active role in raising awareness on cancer prevention, screening and early detection.

MOS president Datuk Dr Mohd Ibrahim Wahid said the book was part of an ongoing initiative by the society and Pfizer Malaysia to create awareness on how to care for cancer patients including providing information on diagnosis, treatment and management of the disease.

"The caregiver's role is as important for a patient's recovery as the therapy that the patient has to undergo," he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Ahmad Kamal said in his talk, on the "Crucial Role of Caregivers", that cancer caregivers should be prepared to sacrifice a great deal for the sake of patients. It can affect you emotionally and physically and financially.

"However, you will also experience gratifying and often unexpected rewards." Dr Ahmad said.

The handbook is also distributed through oncology clinics, cancer support groups and the MOS website at

The public can also pose questions related to cancer.

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