“Every 19 seconds, someone in the world gets diagnosed with breast cancer.
“It strikes one in 19 women,” explains Dr Jendana Chanyaputhipong, PanAsia Surgery Group’s breast surgeon. And if those eye-opening statistics weren’t enough to prompt you into making an appointment, know that early detection is your number one protection.
An early stage of breast cancer may show no symptoms and can only be detected through screening. If treated at an early stage, there is a 95 percent success rate for treatment. “Patients often live a long life, we are talking about 20-30 years, with adequate and appropriate treatment,” Dr Jendana says.
Though clear-cut as it seems, many women shun breast screening. Participation rate is considerably low for Singapore’s national breast cancer screening programme. A survey by the Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF) in 2017 revealed that only 62 reported having ever done a breast self-check examination.
The thought of screening is enough to strike fear. PanAsia Surgery Group divulged that some women think it’s unnecessary due to their healthy lifestyles and lack of family history; others deem it embarrassing or are generally afraid of diagnosis. One can understand the need for open conversation — Breast Cancer Awareness Month is the best time for this.
The annual campaign in various countries across the world and encompasses all voices. Not only does it advocate early detection, it’s also a show of unity for women in the throes of treatment, caregivers and the triumphant survivors. The onus is on all of us to continue the conversation on breast cancer, pandemic or not. Here’s how you can support the cause.
Get your pink on
The simplest thing you can do is to don a pink ribbon. It’s a symbol of hope for victims, a sign of solidarity and a way to spark the conversation on breast cancer. Your little pink pin may just empower someone to book a screening appointment.
Make a direct donation
In Singapore, non-profit organisation BCF is committed to raising awareness for early detection of the disease through talks, publications and events. It also supports survivors and their families through counselling and training. A donation goes a long way into supporting the foundation’s initiatives.
Shop for a cause
The Estée Lauder Companies
This year, The Estée Lauder Companies continues the battle with breast cancer through its global campaign #TimeToEndBreastCancer and the sales of the annual pink ribbon products, which includes Bobbi Brown’s Luxe Matte Lip Colour Duo in an aptly named Powerful Pinks, the popular Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Multi-Recovery Complex in a striking metallic pink container and pink ribbon bracelet, as well as Jo Malone’s Peony & Blush Suede cologne. Evelyn H.Lauder was the co-creator of the Pink Ribbon and founded the company’s Breast Cancer Campaign and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). The campaign’s mammoth efforts over the years have duly paid off, having raised more than $76 million internationally and funding 250 medical research grants. Supporting its mission is a host of partnerships with Minor Miracles, Perk by Kate, Superga and WeBarre, which channels some of its proceeds to BCRF (hit the links to find out more). Even if you’re not looking to buy anything, help spread awareness with the hashtags #TimeToEndBreastCancer and #UnitedinHopeSG on Instagram — The Estée Lauder Companies will donate S$5 (and up to S$10,000) for every public, in-feed post featuring these hashtags from October 1 to 31.
Homegrown organic facial bar Kew Organics is donating $2 of their proceeds from a handful of products to BCF. These include the Kew Organics Lumi Lift Detox Facial $98 (U.P. $238 for 90 mins), said to increase blood circulation and movement of lymph nodes, as well as act as a preventive measure to decrease the risk of breast cancer; the Elixir Hydrating Concentrate Serum and Dose of Omega 7 Hydrating Emulsion bundle at $266.22 (U.P. $313.20); and the Elixir Hydrating Concentrate Serum and Immortelle Engergizing Cream bundle at $280.75 (U.P. $330.30).
Breast cancer survivor and co-founder of dating app Paktor has recently launched Breathe Essentials in commemoration of Breast Cancer Awareness month. The homegrown brand is dedicated to provide an ongoing year-round support and commitment to breast cancer awareness by contributing ten percent of its sales proceeds to BCF. Breathe Essentials’ range of aromatherapy products include organic-certified essential oilsextracted via a steam distillation process at a distillation plant located in the French Riviera. The range will also include hand-poured cocosoy candles, co-developed with a 200-year-old European fragrance house with one of the world’s strictest regulatory requirements to craft unique, uplifting scents for customers to enjoy in their comfort of their homes or offices.
(Main and featured image: Sarah Cervantes/Unsplash)