This post is dedicted to Allahyarhamah Siti Marlina Zainal (1976 - 2009) , my junior Srikandi thoroughbred 89-93. She passed on last Monday, 6th July 2009 after a brave fight against cancer. Do read her "My Surviving Years" blog. I was so touched and saddened by her heartfelt posts. She was also featured as a Winner in "My Story -Ceritaku" competition in conjunction with National Cancer Awareness & International Breast Cancer Awareness months. Read it here: I lost my breast but not everything else!
Just about everybody knows that the most common type of cancer in women is the breast cancer. Everyone would know at least one person within their circle that had passed on due to the deadly disease.
The statistics doesn't help either:
- Breast cancer afflicts an estimated figure of more than ONE MILLION women in the world each year and it is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths among women worldwide, second to lung cancer.
- For new cases of female breast cancer reported in Malaysia in 2003, 64% of these cases were women between the ages of 40 to 60 years old.
- Early detection and getting the appropriate medical attention can help save lives. It is so unfortunate that in Malaysia, nearly 40% of new cases identified each year were already in the very advanced stages of the disease.
(Taken from: Pride.org.my - Statistics)
What I can say is that Early detection is KEY. We need to be aware of the Do's. Don't just wear the pink ribbon, you need to know what to do and you need to DO IT!
From Breast Self Examination (BSE):
Every woman from the age of 20-39 years old should:
- carry out BSE once a month, between the 7-10 day from the start of your period (Truth be told, I have NEVER done this in my life. I know about it,sure. I feel embarrassed when approached by the lady with the pink ribbons, that I just quickly get the DIY manual on BSE and hurried along)
- do Clinical Breast Examination (CBE) once every three years, though there are also other recommendations to do it once yearly when you reach 30. (I am guilty too , I have NEVER done this ever!)
For ladies aged 40 and above:
- carry out BSE once a month. For women who have reached menopause, do it on a specific date of the month
- do CBE and mammogram once a year
We need to be breast aware - i.e. know how your breasts actually look and feel. Look for changes in breast size and shape, any pains and lumps, changes on your skin and nipple.
On another note, I feel that we would also need to participate in breast cancer awareness campaigns. I found a local community program called Passionately.You - " a woman driven campaign dedicated to women's health and to celebrate all cervical and breast cancer victims and survivors' fighting spirit. The Passionately You Duck represents HOPE for those battling cervical & breast cancer."
They organized a 2 months campaign last year called "Passionately Pink" in which pink rubber ducks , a commonly used symbol to fight breast cancer, were given a make-over by Malaysian celebrities and then auctioned off. The objective was to raise RM100,000 to fund the Breast Cancer Community Treatment Programme at Assunta Hospital.
The Passionately You roadshows aimed at telling women about breast cancer prevention and and HPV immunization campaign for young women to protect them against cervical cancer. The next roadshow would be at TESCO EXTRA Selayang on 16 - 17 July and TESCO Setia Alam, Shah Alam on 18-19 July 2009.
There's other exciting activities in store, including "All Things Women" shopping weekend scheduled sometime in August whereby a percentage of sales from designer clothing, footware and accessories will beused for women's cancer treatment. There will also be fashion shows and music entertainment in the agenda.
Another interesting activity is the Passionately YOU Quacky Run of 25km and 5km Family Fun run on October 11,2009. For more information call 603-77839509. (You could run or volunteer, either way, do call the number) Make that call and start practicing for the marathon with benefits - this would go well with my "Muffin Top" eradication program.
-dillz blogging out-