IT IS a case of fashion meets charity for Gleneagle Hospital Kuala Lumpur’s Unite with Pink, Unite with Us, Together We Unite for Pink October as 1Malaysia breast cancer fundraising campaign.
Some 250 pink scarves, exclusively designed by fashion designer Zang Toi, will be up for grabs to raise funds for the campaign, which is one of the initiatives to be spearheaded by the hospital in conjunction with the upcoming Pink October month.
The scarves, which measure 112cm x 112cm in size and made from a satin silk fabric in South Korea, are priced at RM300 each.
Proceeds from the campaign will be donated to the Pride Foundation, a non-profit organisation that is involved in enhancing awareness efforts and improving accessibility to treatment and care of breast cancer.
The foundation will use the funds to help breast cancer patients in terms treatment cost, surgery and other medical needs.
The hospital will be offering special rates for ultrasound breasts and mammogram screenings.
A free pap smear test will be given away to customers who take up the screening package.
Buyers will also be given a RM300 tax exemption receipt.
“We are committed in reaching out and engaging the public to support the plight of breast cancer patients and together with our supporting partners, we hope that through campaigns such as this, significant funds are channel to help save lives,” said the hospital’s chief executive officer, Amir Firdaus Abdullah, at the campaign launch.
“Among the activities we have lined up is a road show in Bangsar to increase awarenss of breast cancer.
“We’re also talking about setting up a fund to cater to patients who can’t afford the cost of such medical treatments and care.”
ING Insurance Bhd president and CEO Datuk Dr Nirmala Menon, whose company is a campaign partner, noted that the pink ribbon was an international symbol of breast cancer awareness.
“Greater awareness and early detection are the best, as the prognosis seems better and more treatment options are available,” she said.
“It is critical to buy the necessary healthcare cover for ourselves to ensure one has enough protection in times of need.”
The hospital’s consultant breast surgeon, Datuk Dr Suseela Nair, also conducted a presentation entitled Latest Trends and Development in Breast Cancer from 2003-2005, with a particular focus on the situation in Malaysia.
According to her presentation, breast cancer is the commonest cancer in Malaysian women, as it accounts for 31.3% of all cancers in Malaysian women.
In terms of ethnicity, Dr Suseela said the Chinese and Indians recorded a higher number of cases, compared with Malays.
“These statistics are based on hospital visits, so it may not be a true representation of the actual number of cases as some may prefer to seek traditional or alternative medicine.
“It would be interesting to study the diet and lifestyles of various groups to understand if these play a factor.”
She also said there was an increasing number of breast cancer incidences, which could be due to risk factors like high meat and dairy products intake, low vegetables and fibre intake, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption and smoking.
Dr Suseela advised patients to not opt for traditional medicine if possible, as its efficacy has yet to be proven.
The hospital and its partners, including Philips and AstraZeneca, will be hosting a high tea event on Oct 31 to fete the 250 buyers of the scarves.
The hospital will also be organising other breast cancer awareness activities, including an Eat for Your Healthy Lifestyle cooking demonstration by award-winning chef Mohana Gill, a beauty makeover by Xixili Intima, and multiple health and wellness workshops.
For more information on breast cancer, as well as the list of activities organised by the hospital throughout Pink October, visit www.gimc.com.my.