The Breast Cancer Welfare Association Malaysia (BCWA), Lung Cancer Network Malaysia (LCNM), and National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM), together with Pfizer Malaysia jointly launched the inaugural “National Thrive Week”, bringing to life a platform that shines a light on the advanced cancer community so that everyone living with cancer – the early, the locally advanced, the metastatic – can feel equally supported as they live life to the fullest.
The event was witnessed by Caretaker Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar as well as Madam Liew Swee Lee, Secretary of BCWA; Dr Anand Sachithanandan, President of LCNM & Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon; Dr Dalilah Kamaruddin, Head and Medical Officer of the Cancer and Health Screening Clinic at National Cancer Society Malaysia; Madam Luksanawan Thangpaibool, Country Cluster Lead, Pfizer Malaysia, Brunei & Pakistan; and guests.
“Cancer is so common that half of all men and a third of women will get cancer diagnosis in their lifetimes. In Malaysia, 49,000 people were estimated to be newly diagnosed with cancer in 2020, with this figure expected to rise to more than 66,000 new cases annually by 2030.
“However, there is no telling what the events of the last two years will do to the projected number. Treatment delays and redistributed hospital resources lead to late diagnoses,” said Khairy.
Activities will be jointly organised by BCWA, LCNM, NCSM and Pfizer Malaysia, to raise awareness of advanced and metastatic cancer, in-conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Lung Cancer Awareness Month in October and November respectively. Additionally, the campaign will continue its awareness efforts through the four organisations’ social media platforms with content such as empowering bite-sized videos from cancer survivors, digital symposiums, and more to inspire the cancer community.
“We envision National Thrive Week becoming a yearly affair to collate resources and support for people with advanced cancer. Our goal is to rally the public to get involved by providing information, answers, and hope,” said Luksanawan Thangpaibool.
“At BCWA, we understand that a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis can be emotionally and physically challenging, but patients do not have to travel this path alone. We look forward to making a positive difference where everyone living with breast cancer – the early, the locally advanced and the metastatic- can feel equally supported,” said Mdm Liew Swee Lee, Secretary of BCWA.
Her sentiments were echoed by Dr Dalilah Kamaruddin, Head and Medical Officer of the Cancer and Health Screening Clinic at NCSM. “Every cancer patient’s experience is different, but knowledge and the right support can help them navigate their journey of living with cancer.”
Dr Anand Sachithanandan, President of LCNM, explained that many lung cancer patients continue to live well after their diagnosis owing to medical advances. “It is important to know that lung cancer is potentially curable if detected early and multi-modality therapy with a multi-disciplinary approach can ensure many patients live longer, meaningful lives after being diagnosed,” said Dr Anand.