Saturday July 11, 2009
Now cancer patients can virtually learn about the illness
KUALA LUMPUR: When property manager Jessie Chai was diagnosed with breast cancer, she felt devastated. Her immediate thoughts were whether she could continue to eat sambal, practise Qi Gong or even where she could buy a wig.
“I went on a frantic search for information,” she said. “But I realised then that there was no related information based on Malaysians’ dietary habits and our style of living.
“Most of the information were for Westerners,” she said, adding that the thousands of pages she downloaded from websites and books were too clinical for her to understand.
To prevent Malaysian women like Chai from flailing in the dark, the breast cancer survivors’ support group Pink Ribbon had launched its website at www.pinkribbonr2r.my with information on the illness.
Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun said the group played a significant role in providing peer support to breast cancer patients.
“One woman, who previously has been treated for cancer, can be a valuable source of support for another who has been recently diagnosed,” she said, adding that some 1.2 million people worldwide had cancer. The illness kills 400,000 people yearly.
Chew urged women to conduct breast self-examination regularly and go for mammogram screening each year, adding that 31% of cancer patients in Malaysia had breast cancer.
She said women, who were above 40 years old with a household income of RM5,000 or less, would also be eligible for a RM50 subsidy if they were to go for screening at private mammogram centres registered with the National Population and Family Development Board.