KENINGAU: A year-long cancer awareness community-based campaign has shown positive results, said Executive Director of KPJ for Sabah and Sarawak Hospitals, Mah Lai Heng.
She said the campaign had improved public awareness of cancer such as risk factors and symptoms, inspired a positive attitude towards both prevention as well as early diagnosis and encouraged healthy lifestyle behaviours.
“After successfully launching our ‘We Can, I Can,’ Cancer Awareness Campaign in Kota Kinabalu in March last year and 10 months of roadshows to major districts in Sabah, KPJ Sabah Specialist Hospital brought their last and final roadshow to Keningau,” she said in her speech when launching KPJ Sabah Specialist Hospital’s ‘We Can, I Can,’ Cancer Awareness Roadshow at a hotel here yesterday.
She said this marks a great start for the cancer awareness and education campaign in Keningau.
According to her, cancer is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide today, impacting more than 14 million people each year.
Mah said it is a destructive disease that often involved tough therapies and unpleasant side effects such as weight loss, fatigue and hair loss.
“Statistics from the Malaysia Health Ministry have shown that about 100,000 Malaysians suffer from cancer at any one time with breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, cervical cancer and nasopharyngeal cancer being the most common types.
“It is estimated that one in four Malaysians will develop cancer by the age of 75 years old.
“Fact is cancer is a public challenge, people may not realize or understand exactly how it affects the community, nation and world,” she said.
Mah said it may seem like one person can’t possibly make a difference, but the truth is their efforts can have a huge impact on individual lives and the community at large.
She said World Cancer Day takes place every year on 4 February. It is a global event that aims to unite all to take action and fight against cancer with the main focus on prevention, detection and treatment.
“As the leading Radiotheraphy and Oncology Centre in East Malaysia, we are taking the forefront to support World Cancer Day 2016-2018 with the theme: We Can, I Can, as our continuous quest to raise awareness on cancer at all levels,” Mah concluded.
Other activities held during the event were health talk, cancer suvivor story sharing, booth activities and health screening organized by KPJ Sabah Specialist Hospital.
The forum in Keningau was jointly organized by Lions Clubs (zone 12), Keningau Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Keningau Chinese Women Association, Hakka Association, Senior Citizens Association, Sze Yi Association, Jiangmen Wuyi Association, Hainan Association, Teo Chew Association, Hokkien Association, National Unity and Integration Department and Bingkor Community Development Leader Unit.
All the co-roganisers expressed their confidence that this public forum will unite and bring the Keningau community together to fight against cancer.
Vice President of Keningau Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Chong Tou Chong said the tremendous efforts of KPJ Sabah Specialist Hospital and all the associations involved were most appreciated.
“It warms us up to see all of the people that turned up to support the campaign and we are forever grateful for that,” he said.
The forum received overwelming response and praise with more than 230 people turning up for the three-hour forum.