Knowing Lung Cancer

Press Release- Knowing Lung Cancer

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

KNOWING LUNG CANCER’ CAMPAIGN TO DRIVE LUNG CANCER AWARENESS

LCNM, MOS and NCSM’s new campaign encourages conversations on lung cancer

 

KNOWING LUNG CANCER

(L-R): Dr Sanjeev Panchal, Country President, AstraZeneca Malaysia ; Dr Muhammad Azrif Ahmad Annuar, President of Malaysian Oncological Society (MOS) and Consultant Oncologist; Dr Anand Sachithanandan, co-founder of Lung Cancer Network Malaysia (LCNM) and Cardiothoracic Surgeon ; Dr Saunthari Somasundaram, President of National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM) ; Dr. Charles Li, Medical Director at Roche (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd

 

KUALA LUMPUR, 1 September 2020 – Lung Cancer Network Malaysia (LCNM), Malaysian  Oncological Society (MOS), and the National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM), with the  support of AstraZeneca Malaysia and Roche Malaysia, have joined forces to launch the  Knowing Lung Cancer awareness campaign to empower Malaysians, especially people with lung  cancer and high risk groups, to know lung cancer better and ultimately allow for early detection  and the right treatment in a timely manner.

Lung cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in Malaysia1. For years, it has also been considered  one of the deadliest cancers globally2– partly because lung cancer is not easy to detect early on.  In fact, 93% of men and 92% of women who have lung cancer were diagnosed at stages 3 and 41. At this point, the cancer cells would have already spread to different parts of the lungs, the lymph nodes3, or even other organs4, causing other complications. 

Early detection makes a significant difference – it allows timely treatment, which ultimately  enables people with lung cancer to slow down their disease progression, manage their condition  better, live much longer and enjoy a better quality of life. 

Unfortunately, the symptoms of lung cancer – especially at early stages – are not very distinct.  They are also very common, such as persistent cough, chest pains, unexplained weight loss and  shortness of breath5. More often than not, these symptoms get brushed off as common ailments  caused by a sedentary lifestyle or stress. Unknown to many, it is something bigger and more  serious.  

Emphasising the importance of lung cancer awareness, Dr Anand Sachithanandan, co-founder of  LCNM and Cardiothoracic Surgeon shared, “Lung cancer is no longer just a male smoker’s  problem. It is affecting more everyday Malaysians. The public needs to be aware that lung cancer  is preventable and potentially curable if detected at an early stage. Unfortunately, we see many  cases of people with advanced lung cancer who did not get their symptoms checked early because they did not fit the profile for the disease. This is why we decided to partner with local oncologists  from MOS and cancer support groups, such as NCSM, to launch the Knowing Lung Cancer awareness campaign.”  

The Knowing Lung Cancer campaign is an integrated education campaign with the objective to  increase lung cancer awareness among the public and encourage those with lung cancer, high  risk groups, and their caregivers to discuss lung cancer more openly. Through social media  platforms, it aims to promote conversations around lung cancer for early detection and its timely  treatment. 

The campaign will run primarily on LCNM’s Facebook and Instagram platforms, offering  educational content about lung cancer and support for those affected by the disease. The campaign  organisers, LCNM, MOS, and NCSM, hope to spark a greater understanding and discourse about  lung cancer on these widely used platforms.  

“Through this campaign, we hope to encourage more conversations between high risk groups and  their General Practitioners (GPs) as primary care doctors have an important role in helping high  risk groups or people with lung cancer to be swiftly diagnosed and treated effectively,” explained Dr Anand. 

“There is an important need to talk about lung cancer more extensively in this country. Cancer is  often perceived as a taboo subject and people are often frightened or embarrassed to talk about it  openly. The sooner we change mindsets, we are able to build an informed society that is able to  recognise the symptoms for early detection and timely treatment,” Dr Anand further added. 

Meanwhile, speaking on new cancer treatments, Dr Muhammad Azrif Ahmad Annuar, President  of MOS and Consultant Oncologist shared that, “Through the Knowing Lung Cancer campaign,  we hope to be able to empower people with the knowledge on how cancer is treated and what it is  like to live with the disease. The treatment landscape for lung cancer has evolved tremendously  over the years, with newer treatments such as immunotherapy and targeted therapy. This has  enabled positive results in achieving better prognosis and quality of life for people living with lung  cancer.”  

Beyond the hard facts, the campaign will also address other issues that come with living with lung  cancer. These include how to cope with lung cancer diagnosis, mental health for people with lung  cancer and their caregivers, and choosing the most suitable treatment for better quality of life.  Ultimately, LCNM, MOS, and NCSM hope to empower Malaysians to make informed decisions  about how best to tackle lung cancer should it affect them.  

“Most people, especially those who are directly affected by cancer, often downplay the importance  of cancer support. While early detection and timely treatment is important, those living with cancer  must not forget about getting the emotional support that they need. Having a positive mentality is  imperative and makes a difference to not only the survivor’s cancer journey, but also their  caregivers. We truly value the tremendous support received through this partnership, as it enables  us to serve more people living with cancer in the country,” said Dr Saunthari Somasundaram,  President of NCSM.

“At AstraZeneca, we are committed to building a holistic ecosystem for patients that encompasses  the entire lung cancer journey, starting from building the awareness levels to the management of  lung cancer. We believe that a collaborative approach with different partners is essential to  achieving this ambition and this multi-partnership is a step in this direction. We hope that the  Knowing Lung Cancer campaign will empower more people to take charge of lung cancer through  early screening and treatment,” explained Dr Sanjeev Panchal, Country President, AstraZeneca  Malaysia.  

“We at Roche are extremely humbled to be part of this strategic partnership as we are passionate  about transforming patients’ lives and developing innovations for the future. This campaign is  indeed a meaningful collaboration, as every one of us has a role to play in increasing lung cancer  awareness and highlighting the need for early detection and right treatment in a timely manner for  better patient outcomes, which is in line with our purpose at Roche: Doing now what patients need  next. The patient is and will remain at the core and everything of what we do - let’s continue aiming  high as this will deliver truly great results for patients and societies,” said Dr. Charles Li, Medical  Director at Roche Malaysia.  

Follow Lung Cancer Network Malaysia on Facebook and @lungcancernmsia on Instagram for  more updates on #KnowingLungCancer.

                                                         

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About Lung Cancer Network Malaysia (LCNM) 

Lung Cancer Network Malaysia (LCNM) is a non-commercial, non-governmental organisation  (NGO) dedicated solely and exclusively to addressing all aspects and all stages of lung cancer here  in Malaysia including preventative strategies, screening of high risk individuals, diagnosis, staging  and both curative and palliative treatment of victims. The organisation’s multidisciplinary network  includes highly trained medical specialists (from the public and private sectors) and allied  healthcare professionals including dietitians, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists and  psychologists.

LCNM seeks to improve outcomes through advocacy, education and awareness for both the  Malaysian public and primary care (general practice) doctors. We aim to promote evidence based  scientific recommendations in an unbiased and easily understood manner to support and guide  decision-making by patients and their families, doctors and other caregivers.

Learn more about LCNM on www.lungcancer.net.my/.  

 

About Malaysian Oncological Society (MOS)

The Malaysian Oncological Society (MOS) is a local organisation that consists of doctors and  specialists who have an interest in treating cancer patients. The society members include  oncologists, physicians, and surgeons. First established in 1976, The main objectives of MOS are  to promote evidence-based oncology among our members, support research in cancer in Malaysia and to collaborate with other societies and organizations to raise cancer awareness among the  public. 

Visit www.malaysiaoncology.org/ to learn more about MOS.  

 

About National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM)

The National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM) is the first not-for-profit cancer organisation in  Malaysia that provides education, care and support services for people affected by cancer. Over  the last 50 years, it provides holistic cancer support to patients and caregivers. NCSM supports  patients in understanding and dealing with cancer in various phases through its five cancer centres  – the Cancer and Health Screening Clinic, Nuclear Medicine Centre, Resource and Wellness  Centre, Quit Smoking Clinic and the Children’s Home of Hope and has branches in six states, i.e.  Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Perak, Penang and Sarawak. 

For more information, visit www.cancer.org.my

 

About AstraZeneca (AZ)

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery,  development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of  diseases in three main therapy areas - Oncology, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases and  Respiratory. The Company also is selectively active in the areas of autoimmunity, neuroscience  and infection. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used  by millions of patients worldwide.

 

About Roche in Malaysia

Roche has been present in Malaysia since the 1950s, 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. and Roche Services (Asia Pacific) Sdn. Bhd., the shared service centre. With a total  staff strength of over 800, 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.

 

For media queries, contact:

Zeno Malaysia 

Denielle Leong                                Shenna Padman 

+6016 331 3103                              +6016 665 7970 

[email protected]    [email protected]

 

1 Ministry of Health. Malaysia National Cancer Registry Report 2012-2016. (pg. 17, 39)

2 World Health Organisation. Cancer. Available on https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer (Last retrieved 4 August 2020) 

3 Cancer Research UK. Lung Cancer – Stage 3. Available on https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/lung cancer/stages-types-grades/stage-3 (Last retrieved 4 August 2020) 

4 Cancer Research UK. Lung Cancer – Stage 4. Available on: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/lung cancer/stages-types-grades/stage-4 (Last retrieved 4 August 2020) 

5 American Cancer Society. Signs & Symptoms of Lung Cancer. Available on https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/signs-symptoms.html (Last retrieved 4 August 2020).

 

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M-MY 00024 08 2020