October is breast cancer awareness month. Behind the glamorous events, deluge of hashtags and celebrity appearances in the pink, have we really thought of the real meaning of the awareness? While happy campaigns show fun activities, we should reflect that it is about a malicious illness that has caused suffering to millions. When I see the pink ribbon, it instills a sense of seriousness in me. I believe it is not a straightforward deal of staying alive. It is an emotional struggle when parts of the body cannot be saved that makes you doubt whether staying alive is the best choice.
|October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month|
Being a woman myself, I have always been paranoid of the sickness. The fear has always lingered in me since I was old enough to appreciate my breasts. People that know about my thoughts would dismiss it by saying that I am negative until I met Dr. Saunthari Somasudaram, Medical Director and President of National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM). “You should be paranoid about it!” she assured me. For the first time, I felt that I have a positive attitude towards my body.
|Dr. Saunthari who told me that I should be paranoid about breast cancer|
I was at Shokobutsu’s Pledge-To-Self-Check During Shower Campaign when I met Dr. Saunthari. In my eyes, it came across as a very sincere initiative by the company. Yes, there were Shokobutsu products everywhere but they stayed humble at the corners while the event gravitated around breast cancer and the heartfelt reach to help women to understand it. Breast cancer is the 2nd most common cancer in the world. More than 90% of women diagnosed with breast cancer at the earlier stages (stage 1 and 2) stand the chance of surviving the disease for at least 5 years.
|Dr. Delilah teaching the crowd how to self-check|
Shokobutsu’s campain Pledge-To-Self-Check during Shower hails women to just check their breasts during shower. This life-saving action is often underestimated. There is no hard and fast way to prevent breast cancer. There is only early detection and treatment. While there are mammograms and ultrasound to check your breasts, it is best to refine your checks with monthly self-checks. Three breast cancer survivors were open enough to bare their struggles and tell the story of their battle against the Big C. I listened intensely and empathized deeply. It is a respect of a different dimension towards the determination to live and courage of these ladies.
|Sengolmany, aged 52 years old, a cheerful housewife from Ampang who survived cancer for 15 years|
|Valli who has outlived breast cancer for 10 years shared her journey fighting with the Big C at the event|
|Stella Voon who survived breast cancer for 11 years shared her story at the event|
For young woman like me, mammograms are rarely recommended due to thicker tissues. Therefore, I bought myself a peace of mind this October with an ultrasound scan at the NCSM in KL. I took the trouble to brave the traffic, haze and challenged my sense of direction in KL to check my breasts at RM150. I was advised to self-check them monthly, one week after my menses. I strongly recommend to women below 40 years to do an annual ultrasound check. Do not shun this matter and take the extra precaution. Spare not only yourself from the torment, save your loved ones from the emotional agony.
|I did something for myself this October.|
This is the ultrasound result at RM150 at NCSM.
I strongly urge all ladies to have their breasts checked
Shokubutsu's campaign will run from 1st October to 30th November 2015. For every bottle sold during the campaign period translates, Shokubutsu Malaysia will contribute RM0.10 to NCSM.
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