We all probably have that one relative or friend who’s really scared of going to the hospital and instead choose to rely on alternative treatments, such as visiting the local bomoh
And because of this, most of them will only seek treatment from a doctor when their condition gets worse. By then, the treatment received might be a little too late.
It was found that more than half of cancer patients in Kelantan
prefer alternative treatments as opposed to getting professional medical assistance.
Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital (HRPZ II) Endocrine and Breast Surgery division chief and senior consultant surgeon Datuk Dr Imi Sairi Ab Hadi told the New Straits Times
that 54 per cent
of Kelantanese cancer patients are afraid of consulting doctors and end up seeking alternative treatments such as homeopathy, consuming herbal drinks,
and seeking help from bomoh
These cancer patients will only go to the hospital when their conditions have deteriorated too much and it is then that they discover that the cancer has escalated to stage three or four.
“They have an incorrect perception of hospital care and treatment. Only when the situation gets worse do they seek assistance from a hospital,” Dr Imi told the English daily.
The cancer patients’ fear towards professional medical treatment were mainly influenced by their friends and family. They trust those close to them and believe in the myths spread by them, said Dr Imi.
“One of the belief is that breast cancer patients should not expose their breasts to sharp objects, which can cause the cancer to spread,” Dr Imi said.
“As a medical practitioner, I do not prevent patients from seeking alternative treatments. But, I fear patients will abandon their treatment at the hospital and rely on alternative methods.”