Malaysia newest cancer organisation, EMPOWERED-The Cancer Advocacy Society of Malaysia takes aim at lung cancer in a new and invigorating approach calling on all Malaysians to be SMOKE FREE for a week in the month of November. The nationwide move was the brainchild of Dr Christina Ng, Founder and President of the wholly Malaysian non-profit organisation, to commemorate and to coincide a Smoke Free Week dedicated to Lung Cancer Awareness in the world. The highest cancer related mortality rate in the world is attributed to lung cancer, while in Malaysia lung cancer is ranked amongst the top 5 causes of cancer, prevalent in both men and women. While there remains no cure for lung cancer, early diagnosis and treatment of the disease allows the patient a much higher chance of a cure.
Empowered is reaching out to all smokers in Malaysia to take the challenge to remain SMOKE FREE for a week and will launch this call in Sentul Raya Kuala Lumpur among the Sri Perak community on 16th November 2014, with the theme, Say NO to Smoke, Say YES to Life. The Lung Cancer Awareness event in Sri Perak will comprise a first of its kind promotional education on updated information on lung cancer, which involves participation from a wide cross section of the medical community. Educational booths will be specially set up to offer the community a chance for awareness and the dissemination of crucial information, in a small group tutorial format, and also on the hazards of smoking. Medical specialists will provide one-to-one consultations, as well as a robust team of paramedical experts and medical students, and with financial back-up from partner corporate companies, who have all been roped in to engage at the event that offers every visitor a chance to sieve the facts from the myths surrounding the debilitating disease. Children from the Sri Perak community are certainly not left out of the event and will be given a space to express their talents and become ambassadors on the awareness on lung cancer. An art competition will be organised and prizes will be presented to the selected winners who best express the Empowered theme, Say No to Smoke, YES to LIFE! All in all, this event for the family epitomises the mission and vision of the society to bridge the missing link in empowerment toward cancer awareness.
Dr Christina Ng, also a practicing medical oncologist, has seen the onslaught of the disease unfold and unleash its reality on numerous patients who sought late treatment. She says, If people seek early diagnosis and screening, the chance for cure for this disease can certainly be heightened. Delivering greater awareness and education to the public about this fatal disease, as well as advocating for a healthier Malaysia through our Say NO to Smoke, Say YES to Life campaign is Empoweredâ€™s key focus in World Lung Cancer Month. She adds, In the current era of personalised medicine in Oncology, there have been numerous ground breaking discoveries in the molecular profiling of lung cancer, as well as in its therapeutic strategies. It is also our hope and mission at Empowered to work alongside under-resourced communities particularly those who cannot afford the basic and routine chance to procure the prognosis to wellness, to seize this golden opportunity to empowerment concerning lung cancer. And what better time than to coincide this with World Lung Cancer Month, starting in November.
While the aim of Empowered is to work with such communities for treatment and diagnostics, the association is nonetheless aware that much needs to be done to bring to the forefront the many issues regarding the disease that require addressing. Empowereds advocacy on these issues will pave the way for more answers to be readily available to the marketplace, with a hope to sustaining this course of awareness for every Malaysian in the long run. Efforts are currently underway to orchestrate an informed and relevant online platform that speaks with one voice to everyone concerning cancer. This will be supported by ongoing activities and events in more Malaysian towns and rural communities over time.
Being Smoke Free is a choice that everyone makes adds Makpem Deputy Chairperson Datin Paduka Khatijah Suleiman. The Smoke Free Week is the first time this attempt is being done in Malaysia, particularly in Kuala Lumpur. And that is why the Mayor s presence will signal the fitting support and acknowledgement that this week offers to stay Smoke Free for a week and hopefully, extend this over time for a longer period, and who knows, over a lifetime! The best option to give up smoking should come straight from the mind and will of every smoker and it is that form of voluntarism that will become permanent.
The Lung Cancer Awareness event is jointly organised by Empowered-The Cancer Advocacy Society of Malaysia, MAKPEM National Council of Welfare and Social Development Malaysia, DBKL and the Residents Association of Perumahan Awam Sri Perak.