October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and here at Neubodi, we’re taking time to help raise awareness and share valuable information so you can get the awareness and support you need.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting women in Malaysia.
About 1 in 30 women in this country are at risk.
Nearly 50% of the new cases identified each year were already in the very advanced stages of the disease.
Early detection can help saves lives.
The probable reason why these women only discovered that they have cancer in its late stages could be due to lack of awareness, lack of information, lack of access to doctors/physicians, because the subject of cancer is unfortunately still a social taboo in most parts of Malaysia.
What comes before prevention, is knowledge. Asians are often known for their reserved personalities – and this means the unwillingness to discuss personal matters – which in this case – bras and breasts. When such a topic is deemed a stigma, conversation and spread of information about it will also subsequently stop.
Going pink during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October annually is what we can do as a community to come together and break the silence. This provides an opportunity to help educate the public on the health impact of breast cancer, the importance of taking personal responsibility for health, and the new research studies that ultimately affect clinical practice.
We need to speak up and create awareness in order to build a more informed nation.
Breast Cancer Welfare Association (BCWA) - an organisation that runs programs to educate the public about breast cancer, as well as empowerment programs that support breast cancer survivors and encourage them to live their lives to the fullest after beating the disease.
National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM) - non-profit cancer organisation in Malaysia that provides education, care and support services for people affected by cancer that was established in 1966. Although they do not cater exclusively to breast cancer, they are an organisation aiming to provide their utmost support to those in need.
Majlis Kancer Nasional (MAKNA) - another non-profit team that has spearheaded numerous initiatives over the past two decades to provide curative, preventive, research, and support services to cancer patients, their families, high-risk groups, and the general public. One of their current project is to run a mobile mammogram clinic, in order to reach and educate those who aren’t able to travel out to hospitals and clinics for regular checks.
Many patients are often left to fight this disease alone. It can be extremely demotivating to go through such a scary time with no support by your side. Extending emotional support to breast cancer patients throughout their fight truly goes a long way.
Some of the breast cancer support groups in Malaysia include:
No matter your age, gender, ethnicity – Everyone has a part to play in promoting awareness, supporting, and breaking the taboo on breast cancer. Only when conversations are normalized, only then we can start educating and equipping ourselves with the right knowledge, and making it a habit to check our breast regularly.