KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – October is the month that’s become affectionally known as, “Pinktober” on account of Breast Cancer Awareness. Last week saw an awareness campaign by Xixili alongside the Breast Cancer Welfare Association (BCWA) of Malaysia take Mid Valley Megamall (KL) by storm.
There is an annual barrage of participating brands taking centre stage to lend their services to the event, and this year was no different. With the likes of Shu Uemura and Number 76 on hand, the campaign drew a considerable crowd.
As an awareness campaign, the overarching purpose was education, which meant nurses on hand to give out free breast examinations. While the overwhelming amount of pink may suggest that this is an issue that concerns only women, that would be highly misleading. The numbers may be significantly lower, but men are still at risk for breast cancer, and should be vigilant of the fact.
The checks themselves were coupled with information on how to conduct the actual self-examination, as well as instructions on the optimal date for doing so.
For women who menstruate regularly, they should conduct the examination on the 7th day of their cycle, i.e. 7 days from the first day of your period. Women who have already undergone menopause, men, and women who don’t menstruate regularly should pick a specific date of the month and consistently keep to it.
This year, the aim was to highlight the breast cancer survivors from BCWA Malaysia. Not only were they there as inspiration to the masses, but they also wanted to get the word out there that there was hope for the future. Breast cancer isn’t a death sentence if you catch it In time, hence the importance of keeping tabs on your tits.
“After my breast cancer, what kept me going was life is very meaningful, and I make sure that I enjoy every moment of it. I would like to advise all the public to do their breast self-examination because early detection saves lives.” – Lynn, 70, 15 years in remission
These ladies are either in remission or currently undergoing treatment, and they need those diagnosed with breast cancer to know that there’s a support group willing and able to help them. What’s interesting is that this brand of support goes beyond just the conversational variety. This inspiring group of women actively participate in activities such as dragon boat races and bowling, and they embody the fact that there is life after the diagnosis.
When asked what kept them going, it unequivocally came through that it was knowing that there was still a way forward beyond the diagnosis. This is undoubtedly the result of an effective support group.
Lilian, 54, who is 8 years in remission tells us, “I just know that I need to survive. I need to make my life more colourful now, and take a step everyday. Just looking forward.”
Another survivor who is 12 years in remission adds that she is, “[S]till looking forward. I want everybody to be aware that even though we have cancer, it’s not a death sentence for us. Life can still going on and we can still enjoy our life.”
“What kept me going? My kids, and the will to survive. 2 years after surgery I started volunteering for BCWA. In 2010, BCWA set up ‘Pink Power’ which is a team consisting of survivors. It is a bowling team, and we practice twice a month…to create awareness of breast cancer,” adds Aminah who has been in remission for 11 years.
Life after breast cancer; it exists. Get yourself checked out today.