It’s time to be brave to go Pink!

Pink is the colour for the month of October. Why?

I have many people asking me in the hospital, “Why are you wearing a pink ribbon?”

Do you have the same question in mind too when you see someone wearing a pink ribbon? Of course many of you will know of a Red Ribbon, which symbolizes AIDS Awareness. But what about Pink? Some people dislike Pink because it is too girly.

Well, do you know October is the Breast Cancer Awareness month? You will see many people wearing pink or have a pink ribbon on them during this month in hospitals and shopping malls. I find this month very special because it talks on Breast Cancer. That is why Pink colour is chosen, because most females like pink.

This is the month to encourage women to be breast aware – to familiarize with how your breasts look and feel at whatever your age you are. Advising on a annual medical check ups such as Mammogram, Clinical Breast Examinations and screenings are also important for early detection that can save your life. Other than that, this creates an opportunity to raise funds for charities and for further research for treatment on this deadly disease.

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Breast cancer is one of the most common form of cancer affecting women in Malaysia. Many women are not aware that a small tiny lump in their breast could be cancer. Ignorance. I have seen many people suffering from breast cancer, survivors, and even have people I know who died of breast cancer. The word “Breast Cancer” can be frightening to those who have it and to their close ones. What more, the word “Chemotherapy”, “Mastectomy”, which they do not just need to say it, but go through it.

It is not easy to accept that you have a cancer. You will tend to do many things to ignore this “cancer” and tend to treat yourself like as if you do not have a cancer, which is dangerous and is life threatening.

I have a patient during my training days who was diagnosed with 4th stage of breast cancer. As her primary doctor sat and took her history, she was telling the doctor that she was diagnosed a year before and couldn’t accept that she has breast cancer. Instead of getting medical treatment such as chemotherapy, she went to the Sing Se for Traditional Chinese treatment. The treatment was not a success, and the cancer has spread to the other breast too. It was a little too late as she is in the last stage and chances of surviving was quite slim. Neither her breasts could be saved and further test was done to make sure the cancer cells did not spread to other organs.

We all play a role in supporting those with and without breast cancer because this is a nightmare to all of us. Those who has breast cancer will go through a 5 stages of griefDenial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and later Acceptance. During these stages, they need support and encouragements from close ones.

Common responses I have experienced according to the 5 stages of grief during my training days.
Denial“Breast cancer? Impossible! I feel so healthy!”
Anger“Why me? What have I done to deserve such sickness?”
Bargain “God! If You are there, take this cancer away!”

Depression“Since I have cancer, I will be dying. Maybe I should just die now.”
Acceptance -“Yes, I have cancer. There is treatment and I should go for it. What do you have for me?”

I truly salute those cancer survivors who have faught so bravely and strongly to overcome the cancer. Losing one or both breast takes up courage to move on. Just like a soldier on the battle field. Fighting for their country to protect their country, while breast cancer patients fight to protect their body! They are our true inspiration whom we should look up to, because they are the only one who knows the real pain and sufferings.So don’t you think this month is very very important to reach out to every women? And men too! Men do play an important role in this awareness too. Don’t be surprise guys, men too can have breast cancer. Every minute counts. Are you in to join in the month of awareness together? You see, by just spending a few minutes on reading this blog post, I am sure a few people have gained something.

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