Petaling Jaya, October 18, 2018 – PINK October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and in conjunction with this, Roche (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in Malaysia, kick-started the ‘We are Pink Fighters – Fight with HER. Survive with HER. Move forward with HER’ initiative to promote breast health awareness and early detection of breast cancer by educating women on the importance of self-examination. Roche Malaysia collaborated with Sunway Medical Centre and Breast Cancer Welfare Association (BCWA) Malaysia to provide free breast screening, blood pressure and glucose testing at Sunway Pinnacle on October 18 and 19.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women.1 In 2018, about 2 million new cases are diagnosed worldwide, and over 600,000 women will die of the disease.1 This means that one woman is diagnosed with breast cancer somewhere in the world every 15 seconds and more than six women die of breast cancer every five minutes worldwide. According to the Malaysian National Cancer Registry (MNCR) Report 2011, cancer is one of the leading causes of death in Malaysia today.2 The most frequent cancer in Malaysia was breast cancer (17.7%) followed by colorectal (13.2%) and lung cancer (10.2%).2 Breast cancer is the most common form of malignancy affecting women and the disease burden of breast cancer affects 31.1% of all women living with cancer in Malaysia.2 According to the MNCR report 2011, the percentage of breast cancer diagnosed at stage I and II was 57%.2 At this stage the disease is usually operable and can be treated with curative intent. However, about 25%-45% of patients experience relapse and those with metastatic or unresectable disease are generally incurable.3
Lance Duan, General Manager of Roche Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. said, “The theme and tagline was developed internally, by our very own Roche staff and this is in line with Roche’s commitment to be with Malaysian women, every step of the way.” Separately, he also added, “Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a good time to remind the women in our lives to get screened. Everyone in a woman’s life plays an important role in fighting breast cancer. Overcoming cancer is one of life’s many challenges – not a death sentence. Breast cancer is curable and we need to send out a hopeful message that women can resume their lives, and even do more after treatment.”
Ranjit Kaur, BCWA President, said the collaboration demonstrates the common goal shared by the community - from patients, carers, corporates and public. “When we save a mother, we save her children as a mother is the pillar of the family. She needs to live longer to nurture her children to be responsible citizens of the nation,” she said. She added that a mother’s love can never be replaced hence the need for women to be vigilant about their health, particularly breast health. “Regular screening enables every woman to detect any breast abnormality early and seek timely medical treatment. Getting diagnosed at an early stage, enables the woman to have a better chance of saving her life, her breast and reduce suffering and cost,” she stated. Ranjit called on every woman to take the responsibility to be vigilant about her breast health. BCWA, she said offers Being Breast Aware Campaigns and clinical breast examinations for women continuously.
Dr. Michelle Mah, Director of Business Development & Corporate Communications of Sunway Medical Centre applauded the initiative, mentioning, “It is indeed an honour for us to be collaborating with Roche Malaysia for a noble cause that can potentially save thousands of precious lives. Women should take advantage of the Breast Cancer Awareness Month to start adopting preventive methods like breast examination and breast screening. In addition to our regular outreach to various communities such as this initiative, Sunway Medical Centre is committed to advocating and providing high-quality healthcare services with the right expertise and technology advancements. It is our aim to help more women continue their life journey healthily and cancer-free.
“Studies have also shown that survival from breast cancer has improved in the past 3 decades. In Malaysia, the largest population based study of 10,000 breast cancer patients diagnosed between January 2000 and Dec 2005 identified from the Health Informatics Centre, Ministry of Health Malaysia, the National Cancer Registry and the National Mortality Registry found that the 5-year overall survival rate was 49%.4 Despite the relatively high 5-year survival rate compared to other malignant tumors, metastatic disease has long been the principal cause of mortality among breast cancer patients. However, most of the patients still have poor prognosis after metastasis5.” added Lance Duan.
GLOBOCAN 2018: Breast Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide
Health D. The Malaysian National Cancer Registry Report (MNCR) 2007-2011 [Internet]. From the Desk of the Director General of Health Malaysia. 2018 [cited 1 March 2018]. Available from:
Guarneri V, Conte P. Metastatic Breast Cancer: Therapeutic Options According to Molecular Subtypes and Prior Adjuvant Therapy. The Oncologist. 2009;14(7):645-656. doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2009-0078.
Abdullah NA, Mahiyuddin WRW, Muhammad NA, et al. Survival Rate of Breast Cancer Patients In Malaysia: A Population-based Study. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention. 2013;14(8):4591-4594. doi:10.7314/apjcp.2013.14.8.4591.
Chen M-T, Sun H-F, Zhao Y, et al. Comparison of patterns and prognosis among distant metastatic breast cancer patients by age groups: a SEER population-based analysis. Scientific Reports. 2017;7(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-017-10166-8
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