CHAMPIONING THE VALUE OF TIME AND A FUTURE-PROOF HEALTHCARE PLAN FOR WOMEN
Awareness and proactive healthcare management is still low
PETALING JAYA, 22 September 2022 -In conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2022 which falls in October, pharmaceutical company Roche Malaysia, in partnership with The Asian Women (TAW) and Lembaga Penduduk dan Pembangunan Keluarga Negara (LPPKN), is encouraging women to be more aware about breast cancer care, to establish a future proof healthcare plan and to reimagine their time, health, and future.
HER TIME Matters is a multi-faceted breast cancer campaign which champions health empowerment, engagement and personal decision making. The goal is to inspire behavioural change among women and to encourage proactive management of their own health. #timeforme #timeforothers #hertimematters.
Conducted between September 2022 – January 2023, HER TIME Matters campaign, is a multifaceted approach to close the gap in 3 areas: Awareness, Health Empowerment and Inspiration with the aim to transform the landscape and mode of care of breast cancer in Malaysia. It will include a concerted online education programme, health talks, partnerships with insurance companies to look into women's health policies and hospitals for screening and checks, which includes Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur, Sunway Medical Centre at Sunway City and Beacon Hospital, as well as sharing inspiring life journeys of cancer survivors and much more.
Commenting on the rationale for the HER TIME Matters campaign, Deepti Saraf, General Manager of Roche Malaysia said, “Women are generally known to be self-sacrificial and often place the importance of others above themselves, lacking the urgency, awareness and focus to invest in their own health needs. To mark Breast Cancer Awareness 2022, Roche, together with our campaign partners, want to empower women towards behavioural change by sharing hope, innovation, collaboration, and medical breakthroughs that will enhance greater awareness on the importance for a future-proof healthcare plan for them.
“At Roche, our unwavering goal is to impact the lives of patients and be at the forefront of finding cures for cancer. For more than 50 years, we have developed innovative medicines and diagnostics that help prevent, detect, diagnose, treat and monitor cancer. Our innovations which leverage on technology such as telehealth, cutting edge treatments and flexcare options are all aimed at adding time to lives and ensuring a future proof healthcare plan.
“Roche teams around the world also work with patient groups and governments to help more women get diagnosed at an early stage of their disease when breast cancer may be potentially curable. Locally, we have collaborated with the Breast Cancer Welfare Association and the College of Surgeons on the importance of patient-doctor communication and joint decision making. We will continue our efforts to educate and empower women to embrace a healthcare management plan for a healthier future for themselves and their loved ones,” she added.
Sharing at the launch of the HER TIME Matters, Dr Ng Char Hong, Consultant Breast Surgeon at Sunway Medical Centre, Sunway City, “I can’t emphasise enough the importance of early screening to downstage breast cancer and for women to be apprised of the latest and innovative treatments that can result in better patient outcomes.
“The awareness on the need for consistent breast care is still very much lacking. The 2019 National Health Morbidity Survey highlighted the exceedingly low rate of breast cancer screening. 3 out of every 4 women over 40 in Malaysia have never had a mammogram done while 1 in 2 women do not practise breast self-examination1.
“There is much misconception, stigma and fears among women aside from other challenges in life that they face, trying to juggle home life and other responsibilities. However, being proactive to seek help, weighing in the options in a timely fashion and making a decision to treat while holistically caring for themselves at the same time can lend significant impact and offer better treatment outcomes,” he added.
Studies have shown that only a low proportion of women reported knowing the signs and symptoms (42.6%) or risk factors (16.5%) of breast cancer while only 17.8% report ever being screened for breast cancer. 2 As for behavioural factors, most women (64.4%) reported shared decision making, while 13% of women reported that they make their own health decisions. For up to 21% of women, their health decisions are made by their family.2
The lack of knowledge is also the most common barrier to help-seeking, followed by lack of motivation, such as emotional barriers (22.1%) and optimism (20.8%). Approximately 11% of patients report lack of opportunity to seek help, due to physical and social barriers 3.
Child care also posed a competing priority for some women who shared that they would not have time for breast checks. Some women were scared of being diagnosed with cancer, thought the screening is painful or are afraid of breast removal surgery and of losing hair due to the treatment.
Many rural Malaysian women also have inadequate understanding and awareness about breast cancer, were in denial, were misinformed about cancer, or didn't think they were susceptible, so they weren't interested in screening.
Polin Lim, Founder of TAW shared, “The Asian Women is a social media channel that encourages women to uplift one another by going on camera to share life stories and honest conversations that raise awareness, break stigmas and inspire hope. Ultimately, we hope to see women achieve a stronger and happier self. Through this campaign of ‘Her Time Matters’ with Roche, we want to empower women to take charge and ownership of their breast health - to be breast aware, to know what latest treatment options are available and to understand how important it is to have adequate insurance coverage.”
Jojo Struys, founder of OhanaJo and a wellness personality, chimed in on how important it is to lead a well- balanced life and take care of oneself, "Regardless of whether one is facing any medical challenges, we all have a choice, so choose to eat healthier, exercise more, adopt a more positive outlook in life and remove unnecessary stressors in your life. For me personally, meditation has been an amazing way to clear and calm the mind, anchoring me in the present moment. Make it a daily habit to practice self-love and gratitude to raise levels of positivity and resilience.”
Jojo also added, “You can choose what works best for you to also keep your body moving. Yoga has really helped to tone my body without even using any equipment or weights and it trains the mind for better focus and clarity. Regardless of what you do, it’s important to have a healthcare management plan for yourself. Don't leave it to chance or be reactive when you can be proactive. We only have this body in this lifetime so do all things possible to really look after it.”
This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, share with every woman you know how important it is to enhance their knowledge on breast care and to be proactive in having a healthcare plan. For more information and to be part of HER TIME Matters campaign, log on to https://www.hertimematters.my/ or https://www.facebook.com/hertimematters
1. 17, F. (2022, February 17). Cancer in my community: Addressing increasing cancer cases in Malaysia. Cancer.Net. Retrieved September 13, 2022, from https://www.cancer.net/blog/2022-02/cancer-my-community-addressing-increasing-cancer-cases-malaysia
2. Rajaram, N., Jaganathan, M., Muniandy, K., Rajoo, Y., Zainal, H., Rahim, N., Tajudeen, N. A., Zainal, N. H., Khairy, A. M., Abdul Wahab, M. Y., & Teo, S. H. (2022). Barriers to help-seeking for Malaysian women with symptoms of breast cancer: A mixed-methods, two-step cluster analysis. https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.05.19.22275285
3. Su, T. T., Azzani, M., Donnelly, M., & Majid, H. A. (2020). Seeking medical help for cancer among urban dwellers in Malaysia-Emotional barriers and awareness of cancer symptoms. European journal of cancer care, 29(4), e13232. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecc.13232
Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, as well as growing capabilities in the area of data-driven medical insights help Roche deliver truly personalised healthcare. Roche is working with partners across the healthcare sector to provide the best care for each person.
Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. In recent years, Roche has invested in genomic profiling and real-world data partnerships and has become an industry-leading partner for medical insights.
Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims to improve patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. More than thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Moreover, for the twelfth consecutive year, Roche has been recognised as one of the most sustainable companies in the Pharmaceuticals Industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI).
The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2020 employed more than 100,000 people worldwide. In 2020, Roche invested CHF 12.2 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 58.3 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit www.roche.com
Roche has been present in Malaysia since 1972, when the sales and distribution of products was managed by a third party distributor. Since then, Roche has established its operations to include Roche (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., the pharmaceutical business; Roche Diagnostics (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., the diagnostics business and Roche Services (Asia Pacific) Sdn. Bhd. (also referred to as Roche Services & Solutions APAC). With a total staff strength of over 1,000, Roche has grown into one of the leading healthcare companies in Malaysia that provides holistic healthcare solutions to healthcare practitioners and patients. For more information, please visit www.roche.com.my
At TAW (The Asian Woman), we hope to support women towards achieving their stronger and happier self. We believe life stories and honest conversations shared on-camera are dynamic tools to effectively raise awareness, break stigmas and inspire hope.
In particular, we want to empower women to take charge and take ownership over their own health. For every woman, that begins with having adequate insurance coverage, being breast aware and understanding the latest treatment options.
In recent years, the participation rate of women in the labour force has increased to over 50% - that's an increasing number of women juggling work and family. Together with Roche, we look forward to driving the message to every woman, that amidst life’s busy-ness, mortality is real so her time truly matters.
The National Population and Family Development Board, LPPKN, was established under the Population and Family Development Act 1966 [Act 352] and placed under the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development. At the initial stage of its establishment, the main focus of LPPKN was to implement family planning programs and activities in the country. LPPKN’s vision to create a strong family towards producing a caring society, quality population and a progressive Malaysian nation is quite challenging and requires a strong commitment from all parties. LPPKN through various initiatives has introduced dynamic and effective methods and approaches to achieve this vision. The focus is also on research, program development, training and cooperation within and outside the country.
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