Lung Cancer Network Malaysia (LCNM) will organise a blood donation drive on 1st August in conjunction with World Lung Cancer Day (WLCD) to raise much needed awareness for this deadly but curable disease and simultaneously help replenish local blood stock in Selangor. The blood donation programme is a collaboration between LCNM, the National Blood Bank (PDN) and three leading private hospitals; Sunway Medical Centre, Subang Jaya Medical Centre and Assunta Hospital.
LCNM president Dr Anand Sachithanandan said the programme would be carried out concurrently at the three hospitals from 10am-4pm. “Lung cancer is a leading cancer and cancer-killer in Malaysia. The vast majority of cases here are detected too late and associated with poor outcomes. This is tragic because if picked up early, lung cancer can be treated effectively with excellent outcomes and enhanced survival”.
“We advocate screening with a low dose CT chest scan for high risk individuals namely current or former heavy smokers, and those with a family history of the disease. Those with a persistent cough or recurrent chest infections should also consult their doctor” said Dr Anand. Lung cancer patients may require blood transfusions due to anaemia from the cancer itself or its various therapies including chemoradiation or sometimes due to blood loss during surgery to resect the tumour.
WLCD was established globally on 1st August 2012 and LCNM was launched on WLCD in 2019. The NGO seeks to destigmatise the disease and educate the public on the tremendous diagnostic and treatment advances that have occurred in this field in recent years.
“Whilst screening and diagnosis of early stage lung cancer is vital, prevention is even more important. Despite an alarming rising trend of lung cancer in non smokers, tobacco smoking still remains the most identifiable, most common and most preventable risk factor for lung cancer. Many cases of lung cancer in non-smokers may be due to secondhand passive smoking” added Dr Anand. As a multi disciplinary network of specialist doctors and allied healthcare professionals LCNM is unequivocal in their support for the government’s proposed generational ‘endgame’ smoking ban. “We share the Health Minister’s aspiration that one day a future generation of Malaysians will not know what a cigarette is” said Dr Anand, a cardiothoracic surgeon.
The first twenty-five blood donors at each of the three supporting hospitals will receive a trendy cancer awareness tie-pin, a reusable environment-friendly facemask and a softcopy of LCNM’s patient guide for lung cancer in addition to refreshments.
For details on the donation drive, visit www.lungcancer.net.my or visit LCNM’s Facebook page.