October 2022 is a timely reminder of the millions of women living successfully with breast cancer around the world. But it is also a tragic marker for the millions more who detected the disease in their breasts too late, did not know what to do, and looked for help in vain.
Why Breast Cancer Awareness Month Matters in Malaysia
A report appearing in National Library of Medicine in 2019 painted a sad picture of community neglect in our country. The authors described how breast cancer incidence was increasing, and we have no reason to believe the situation is different now.
- One Malaysian women out of every nineteen was at risk of the disease.
- Half of all women with the disease were under fifty years old in Malaysia.
The researchers decided to study the level of awareness of breast cancer in the Malaysian community. Did women there know about the risk factors, clinical manifestations, diagnoses, preventions and treatments, they wondered?
What they discovered is a clear call for concerned Malaysians to donate. To give money to increase breast cancer awareness, and support those with the disease.
The Study Confirmed What Some Already Knew
The report in National Library of Medicine noted there was insufficient awareness of the disease among Malaysian women polled. Their knowledge of the risk factors was inadequate, although they were generally up to speed with the roles family history and diet played in their risk profiles.
But the sample was sadly lacking in their understanding of the causes of breast cancer, and its symptoms and signs. Moreover, they only partly understood cancer-related surgery and chemotherapy, and the role of cigarette smoking in the early stages of the condition.
All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason. Immanuel Kant
The research team confirmed something charities including National Cancer Society Malaysia, MAKNA National Cancer Council and Hospis Malaysia already knew. There are gaps in our collective awareness of breast cancer risks, clinical manifestations, diagnoses, treatment, and prevention too.
However, and this is why we introduced this research early in this article “Early detection can be achieved with good awareness,” the team said. “And this leads to better prognosis and lower mortality”. We can’t think of a better reason to showcase Breast Cancer Month here on Incitement today.
Let’s Hear What Malaysian Cancer Specialists Say
One in four of us is affected by cancer on one or other way. This brings the disease closer to home, and not something we can wish away. The signs and symptoms of breast cancer are fairly well known, yet the number of Malaysian women who check their breasts regularly is an unknown. Moreover, only one-in-ten of them visit mammogram screening clinics for check-ups.
What We Can Do As Businesses, and Individuals
It makes sense and it is indeed imperative to support programs that engage the community on this matter. Business definitely has a role to play, as have individual citizens too. Here are a few suggestions you may find helpful:
HELPFUL IDEAS FOR BUSINESS
- Start with prevention first, which is always best. Contact your clients and employees this breast cancer month. Share the facts with them.
- Take the stigma away by handing out colourful giveaways that are useful enough for people to keep. Decorate them with your logo and a pink ribbon.
- Use your social media pages to increase awareness of Breast Cancer Month. Focus on prevention. Mention the disease is curable in the early stages.
- Organise a group team walk of employees and clients. Walk through town handing out leaflets. Celebrate growing closer together afterwards.
THOUGHTFUL IDEAS FOR INDIVIDUALS
- Wear a prominent pink item of clothing each day.
- Volunteer to help your local cancer organization.
- Bond with, and help a stranger with breast cancer.
- Make a study of the topic and learn more about it.
- Share your knowledge on social media and with friends.
- Decorate a community board with pink ribbons.
- Take part in a community breast cancer event.
Donate Money to a Cancer Related Charity You Trust
Here are three deserving charities we know well to help you decide:
NATIONAL CANCER SOCIETY OF MALAYSIA
National Cancer Society of Malaysia is a not-for-profit organization with a deeply important mission. It wants to ensure that no Malaysian fears cancer by creating an understanding that leads to prevention and early detection. And by delivering the best possible care and support for those affected by the disease. Read more about National Cancer Society Malaysia.
MAKNA NATIONAL CANCER COUNCIL
MAKNA National Cancer Council planted a seed of hope, which flourished as the collective will to fight cancer survived and strengthened. They are redoubling their efforts to reach, and serve the unsupported many. Cancer will never have the final word they say, because with grace our spirit is stronger. Read more about MAKNA National Cancer Counsil.
BERITA HOSPIS MALAYSIA
Berita Hospis Malaysia provides palliative care services. They aim to relieve patients’ suffering from life-limiting illness, primarily through pain management and other symptom treatments. Most of their work is done in their homes. However, they also assist through rehabilitation programs and outpatient palliative care.
Which of Those 3 Charities Will It Be for You?
Each of these fine charities serves a specialist niche. Choose the one closest to your heart, and investigate it further here. Then consider giving generously to your chosen one this Breast Cancer Month. Remember, cancer affects one in four of us in some or other way.
Help Raise Funds For Breast Cancer Awareness Month
If you want to do more than make a meaningful contribution, then sign up for Incitement’s Partner Program to start promoting the charities who are fighting to make a difference for Malaysian patients who are battling cancer. We have created a collection of marketing materials which you can download for free to start promoting with ease.