“Hope is Just Around The Corner” – this is the message that MEDICOS aims to share with the women in Malaysia. In its second year of Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, MEDICOS is spreading hope to all breast cancer patients and caregivers, to consistently engage in dialogues and share their experiences with each other to ease the journey in battling this disease.
MEDICOS is partnering with University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) and the Candy Girls, a not-for-profit organisation formed by survivors of breast cancer to shed light and support others affected by the disease physically, mentally and socially. Together with the Candy Girls, MEDICOS released a campaign video detailing the journey of breast cancer survivors, their hardships and overcoming their own fears of the disease.
“No one should fight this battle alone. Knowing that the most intimate part of your body is affected by cancer can stir up a plethora of emotions for women. We need to create a safe and open space for these women to open up about their struggles, without fear of judgement or shame. A support system is important, and the team at University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) is always ready to lend an ear and help people affected by breast cancer in any way we can,” said Prof. Dr. Nazirah Hasnan, Director of UMMC.
In conjunction with the campaign, MEDICOS, a family-owned, pioneer in medical mask manufacturing in Malaysia is introducing its special-edition pink ribbon masks designed by a talented Malaysian artist, Dr Caryn Koh who is based in the UK. She is the winner of the 2020 Breast Cancer Face Fabric Mask Design, a competition organised by Cancer Research Malaysia. The pink ribbon masks can be purchased at Watsons, Caring Pharmacy, other independent pharmacies and retailers as well as major e-commerce platforms throughout the month. A portion of the sales proceeds will go towards University Malaya Medical Centre in the fight against breast cancer.
William Wong, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MEDICOS said, “The pandemic has taught us resilience and the power of hope. This Breast Cancer Month, MEDICOS wants to play our part in reminding Malaysians to recognise the value of all women. Be it a mother, daughter, sister or wife, these women have become a force of change in our lives, and it is time for us to do our part to support them in times of need. Join us in solidarity with our pink ribbon masks; let’s unmask the taboo and start conversations about breast cancer.”
According to Malaysia National Cancer Registry Report (MNCRR) 2012-2016, breast cancer now affects 34 out of 100,000 women in Malaysia, an increase from just 31 women from 2007 to 2011. Breast cancer has a disease burden affecting 31.1 percent of all women living with cancer in Malaysia. But the first step in the battle against breast cancer is early detection.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. See Mee-Hoong, Head of Breast Surgery Unit at UMMC said this at the launch, “Early detection really saves lives. For example, if breast cancer is detected and treated at stage 1, one’s survival rate can be as high as 95%. Hence, it is important for us to be aware of our risks of breast cancer. I urge every women 50-years old and above to go for a mammogram today.”
“To women fighting breast cancer: know that you are not alone. Talk to your friends and family, or other women diagnosed with breast cancer about what you are going through, seek for understanding and support which will be a key part of your journey. Most importantly, please don’t delay in seeking treatment. There are medical advancements today that bring much hope and improve your chances if you get treated early,” she added.
At the launch event, Dr. See also announced the upcoming release of the “Pink Agent”, the first book in Mandarin on breast cancer in Malaysia which will be released on the 24th of October. The book is co-authored by breast cancer survivor Ms. Sia Sock Fong, dietitian Ms. Goh Yoke Lian and medical doctor Tan Hui Ting. Pink Agent aims to educate readers on the reality of this disease and the advancement of breast cancer treatment.
In addition, UMMC is currently expanding its Breast Cancer Resource Centre (BCRC), and the newly-refurbished centre will be unveiled later this month. The resource centre, which was established in 2005, proactively provides clinical service, training, education and research in breast cancer care to patients, survivors and caregivers.
Show the women in our lives that we care. If you know of someone who is affected by breast cancer, get support and direct them to available resources such as The Candy Girls Breast Cancer Support Group, Breast Cancer Welfare Association Malaysia, The National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) and more.
For more information about the “Hope is Just Around The Corner” campaign and to view the testimonial videos of the Candy Girls, please visit: https://medicos.com.my/pink and https://www.facebook.com/medicosofficial.