Every year, October is painted in a soft shade of pink as the world comes together to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In 2023, the spirit of solidarity and awareness shines brighter than ever. This October, the breast cancer awareness campaigns in Malaysia are fueled by an overarching goal – early detection and prevention through extensive public education and access to medical services.
The core objective for this year is clear: to empower individuals with knowledge, raise awareness, and encourage regular screenings. While progress has been made, breast cancer remains a significant health concern, making this annual campaign as vital as ever.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Malaysia, with one in every 19 women at risk of being diagnosed (Source: 1, 2). However, it is also one of the most treatable cancers, especially when detected early. That’s why it’s so important for women to know their breasts and be aware of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.
Early Detection Can Save Lives
Breast self-awareness is the practice of regularly checking your breasts for any changes in size, shape, or texture. You can do this by performing a breast self-exam (BSE) once a month, starting in your early 20s.
To perform a BSE, lie down on your back with your right arm behind your head. Place your left hand on your right breast and use the pads of your fingers to feel for any lumps or bumps. Be sure to check the entire breast, including the underarm area. Repeat the process on your left breast.
If you notice any changes in your breasts, be sure to see a doctor right away. Even if the changes are small, it’s important to get them checked out. Early detection of breast cancer can save lives.
Campaigns and Initiatives in Malaysia
Across Malaysia, many companies are stepping up to join the Pink October movement, recognizing the power of corporate social responsibility. Their collective commitment and initiatives this year are nothing short of inspiring:
- Estee Lauder Malaysia: The Estée Lauder Companies supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month by launching a campaign in collaboration with KLCC Malaysia. The iconic PETRONAS Twin Towers were illuminated in pink, and activities, including the KLCC Park Pink Walk, were planned to raise awareness and celebrate breast cancer survivors.
- Avon Malaysia: Avon’s “Feel the #BoobLove” campaign in Malaysia, featuring breast cancer survivor Azreen Hakim, promotes self-examination and breast cancer awareness. They are also launching a fundraising drive from October to December, donating RM1 from selected product purchases to the National Cancer Society Malaysia for mass education and outreach programs. Purchases can be made through various Avon channels in Malaysia.
- Digital health literacy platform TalkHealthAsia.com partners with the Breast Cancer Welfare Association Malaysia (BCWA) to introduce the “Together, Gather” Breast Cancer Awareness Movement, emphasizing female friendships as a theme. This initiative included free online workshops featuring Q&As with renowned breast cancer specialists, sponsored by pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, Duopharma, and AstraZeneca, with attendees having the opportunity to win free breast screenings. Additionally, they launched a catchy animated music video to kickstart the campaign in Malaysia.
- Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur: In collaboration with the Breast Cancer Welfare Association Malaysia (BCWA), Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur invites you to embrace a pink-themed October, showing solidarity with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For each Afternoon Tea set and Pink Goodies you purchase in this October, they will generously contribute 5% to BCWA, supporting their noble cause.
- SOFITEL Kuala Lumpur Damansara: The hotel is celebrating its third collaboration with Breast Cancer Welfare Association Malaysia (BCWA) in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Throughout October, the hotel is presenting a range of activities and campaigns aimed at raising both funds and awareness for breast cancer. A share of the earnings generated from these endeavors will be contributed to support this important cause.
- HOMESOY: The brand collaborates with major hospitals to promote breast cancer awareness and screening throughout October 2023. Women undergoing mammograms at selected hospitals, such as Columbia Asia, Gleneagles Medical Centre, and others, will receive free HOMESOY 3.0 Soya Milk. Additionally, HOMESOY contributes to breast cancer research by donating RM0.10 for every pack of HOMESOY 3.0 Soya Milk sold and presented a cheque of RM50,000 to Cancer Research Malaysia (CRMY) to support their breast cancer research initiatives.
- Signature Market: Signature Market collaborates with the Breast Cancer Welfare Association (BCWA), backed by international and local brands, to create a women’s empowerment kit. A portion of the proceeds from gift box sales will support the BCWA.
- ZENITH: In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, ZENITH introduces the Chronomaster Sport Pink, a limited edition of 500 watches, featuring a striking pink dial and donating 20% of sales proceeds to Susan G. Komen®. The watch’s pink design, including the date wheel and chronograph counters, aims to raise awareness and contribute to the cause.
- Health Clinic Advisory Panel of Bukit Kuda: Join the Pinky Fun Run 2023, organized by the Health Clinic Advisory Panel of Bukit Kuda and co-organized by Puncak Ventures SRA Sdn Bhd, in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The event will take place on October 15, 2023, at Kota Raja Stadium in Klang, with 8km and 5km races starting at 7:15 am and 7:20 am, respectively.
Let’s remember that Pink October isn’t just about wearing pink; it’s a testament to our collective efforts in fighting breast cancer. It’s a reminder that awareness and early detection are our strongest weapons against this formidable adversary.
As October progresses, let’s embrace the Pink October spirit, taking steps to understand, support, and advocate for breast health. Together, we can make Pink October not just a colour but a symbol of hope and prevention. Our collective actions can truly save lives and make a world where breast cancer is detected early, treated effectively, and ultimately, prevented.
Early detection can save lives.
Read also: How to Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer?